There is one thing I came into the recognition field to do. That task was to ban saying “good job” as an act of feedback or recognition expression.
Yet they have brainwashed many of us since childhood from home and school, and then into the workplace, to both hear and use those two words.
I am going to explain to you exactly why you must eradicate ever saying the words “good job.” Then I will give a simple way to replace those words. You will feel more confident about being able to give meaningful recognition. And you’ll be perceived as a more genuine recognizer.
Recognition Professionals International’s first Best Practice Standard for recognition programs is having a Recognition Strategy.
Does your organization have a written recognition strategy? If you do, what is your intention of having a recognition strategy?
I want to address what the strategic intent is behind your recognition strategy. And if you don’t have a recognition strategy yet, I will clue you in how important it is to know your strategic intentions. Strategic intent is both philosophical and outlines the purpose of recognition.
The best way to learn how to give amazing recognition to people that always hits the mark is to have someone show you how to do it. But it is a lot more than being shown what to do. Be an attentive observer of the intricacies that go into meaningful and effective recognition.
Observe people and look for the emotional imagery they manifest in recognizing colleagues. Describe what you think recipients are feeling based on their reactions to being recognized. At different times, you can stop and ask people how they felt about the recognition received.
You gain a lot when you have an executive sponsor for employee recognition.
An executive or leadership sponsor is a leader who actively advocates for the organization’s recognition strategy and for the recognition programs that you manage. Having a C-level sponsor is considered a key requirement for success.
Employees want to receive recognition that is memorable and makes them feel good at the same time. Follow these simple strategies and learn how to give memorable recognition to the surrounding people you work with.
1. Start by sharing your gratitude with people. It is important to be optimistic and complimentary of the positive acts and performance you observe around you.
2. Learn to personalize your recognition. Connect with each individual you’re recognizing and energize them with your recognition message uniquely for them.
3. Ensure you give recognition in a timely manner. Work hard at recognizing people as soon as possible after you see their positive actions or they are reported to you.
4. Express your recognition through storytelling. No need to make it too short and sweet when you can tell the story of someone’s accomplishments and how they did it.
5. Focus on making your recognition more positive. Be very specific and selective with your word choice to ensure positive vocabulary and the use of positive vocal inflection.
6. Prepare by questioning your recognition intention. Remember, recognition is always about the recipient and should never be a manipulative technique by the giver.
7. Gauge how effective your recognition is. Pay attention to how well your recognition communication was received and generated a positive reaction.
8. Check out if people felt the recognition given them. Recognition moments are always a felt experience that reinforces and appreciates people.
9. Share the impact people’s actions make. Everyone loves to know how their positive actions and work made a difference to others. So, tell them!
10. Boost people’s pride in themselves and their work. Let people know you appreciate them for who they are and everything they bring to the workplace.
One area repeatedly comes up weak when I assess many organizations on their recognition practices and programs. That missing element is recognition, and they barely touched upon it in their leadership development curriculum.
True, they may or may not have online education on effective recognition practices. And they might have a few tutorials on how to use their various recognition programs.
But with educating and training leaders on effective recognition giving, the well is often dry.
Leaderboards are a type of gaming mechanism that helps learners with goal setting and instilling motivation for learning and performance improvement.
So, how can you design and use leaderboards to socially reinforce the desired performance results you want in the workplace?
I will outline some of the leaderboard mechanics to be aware of and their implications. And I will provide you with a real-world example of a leaderboard that you can emulate and apply in your workplace.