The Best Leading Indicator for Employee Recognition

All of us are striving to help people in our organizations feel valued and appreciated for their contributions and for who they are. We’re also tasked with showing everyone how to give more effective and meaningful recognition face-to-face and with using our online recognition programs.

And the only way we know how well we are doing is by measuring the outputs of recognition through our recognition programs and through employee perceptions on recognition received through engagement surveys. 

But is there another way that you can refocus what you measure that will lead to more recognition giving?

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How Adding Time and Effort Actually Enhances Your Rewards

I have always been a big advocate of the fact that it’s the quality of your recognition that makes it a big deal.

Time and time again, I have witnessed how when you put more of a personal touch into the recognition and rewards you give, the more meaningful and effective the effect will be on the recipient and on their performance. 

I have summed this principle up before by saying, when you give people recognition you don’t have to give them a reward; when you give people a reward, you must always accompany it with recognition.

Now I have a social science experiment to share with you that validates this principle.

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Essential Basics on How to Recognize the People You Work With

Here are some essential basics, and possibly reminders for some of us, on how to recognize the wonderful people you work with on a daily basis.

There’s no rocket science behind these attitudes and behaviors. They are just time worn and proven ways to make your recognition come across in a more meaningful and memorable manner.

Put them into practice daily and you’ll be giving real recognition the right way wherever you work.

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Find Out How People Want To Be Recognized

Has your manager ever recognized you in a way you really didn’t appreciate?

While not by my manager, I can recall twice where people recognized me in not the best way.

Each of these poor recognition events proved the person responsible for recognizing me had done no homework. In addition, it might well have been the individual transferring their own preference on to how they recognized me. And, I also think one was a cheap, quick and easy way out.

The bottom-line is I did not feel properly recognized.

Have you seen employees disappointed or feeling a lack of respect with how they’re acknowledged and recognized?

We will discover ways for finding out how people want to be recognized.

Remember, I alluded to two occasions where I received depersonalized recognition that meant nothing to me? Let me share those experiences with you so we can learn from them.

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How To Give Recognition to Teams the Right Way

It’s just as important to acknowledge the teams you work with, as it is to give individuals the recognition they deserve.

But, somehow, because of human nature, and sometimes a lack of proper management, you can end up with team dynamics that impede feeling good about team recognition.

For example, team members often ask the questions, “What if one team member doesn’t pull their weight on a work project and yet their included in the team recognition?”

It seems many issues crop up with team-based recognition. What are you supposed to do? How can you give people on teams proper recognition?

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How To Use Eye Contact to Boost Recognition Effectiveness

Recognition is a positive form of expression and meaningfully conveyed through the eyes. They have described our eyes as “the windows to the soul.” Using appropriate eye contact, when in the right country, can be a great behavioral skill and enhancer to improving the recognition you give to people.

Your eyes can become a great connecting force with recognition giving.

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The Impact Your Voice Can Have on the Recognition You Give

Of all the recognition behaviors or practices I have studied, it amazed me that one’s voice ranked as the most important behavior in conveying authentic and effective recognition.

But we couldn’t argue with the content validation exercise conducted with employee recognition experts.

That’s why I want you to learn to better use your voice to communicate more meaningful recognition.

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How To Use “I” Talk Versus “You” Talk in Your Recognition

Bad things can happen when you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Take the scenario of a young man I knew in his twenties making a quick purchase of snack foods and a pop at the local convenience store in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. Another man walks in to the store. But this man’s intent is to rob the convenience store of cash from the till.

This second man’s weapon of choice was a screwdriver. He stabbed the young man in the head because he was in the way. The stabbing penetrated his skull and brain resulting in motor brain damage as far as walking and use of his arm. But now he could not talk.

All he could say were approximations of consonant-vowel sounds like, “ma”, “ba”, “do”, or “to”.

This young man’s horrific life experience led me to learn how to give more meaningful recognition expressions using “I” talk language. I’ll explain.

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Top 10 Ways to Leverage Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation Day is an unofficial holiday (not a day off of work, mind you!) that is observed on the first Friday in March in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. It is a day for company leaders and managers to thank employees for their hard work and effort throughout the year. It was never intended to be the only day you recognize your staff. How can Employee Appreciation Day be a reminder for you to better appreciate the people you work with? Find out how in Top 10 Ways to Leverage Employee Appreciation Day. (more…)

One Thing You Need To Improve Your Recognition

In researching recognition practices and the positive behaviors and principles associated with meaningful recognition, I have identified at least forty essential behaviors needed for giving recognition seen as authentic and effective in the eyes of employees.

My colleague, Dr. Charles Scherbaum, and I have even developed a Recognition Skills Assessment that assesses an individual’s strengths and weaknesses around these researched behaviors.

But over and above all these behaviors, skills, and practices, what’s the one thing you can do to improve your recognition giving abilities? (more…)