My Name Is Important To Me

When you give recognition to an employee, do you say their name correctly when expressing recognition to them?

I want to increase your awareness of the importance of using a person’s preferred name whenever you recognize them face-to-face, in written text, or in personalizing a tangible item with their name on it.

How do you think you’re doing in using people’s proper name?

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How To Ask for Recognition That You’re Not Getting

Some of us have directors or managers who have never learned to give recognition to people when it is due. They can seem too task oriented. Others are more introverted and not used to expressing feelings.

Or, maybe you hear reports from employees who wonder what they can do to bring this topic of a lack of recognition up with their manager, but are afraid it might backfire if they do. Now they have gone for years without having their work properly acknowledged.

What can they do to highlight their work successes and finally get the recognition they deserve?

Turn the tables and learn how to ask for the recognition you’re not getting.

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Top 10 Ways to Recognize Remote Workers (2010 version)

This post was originally written for Incentive Magazine back in 2010. It’s amazing what can happen in a decade, with so many work from home employees due to the pandemic. Naturally, this only applies to knowledge workers, certain professionals, information technology, and other office workers able to perform most of their job functions at home.

Addenda are made when needed to comply with our current pandemic health prevention or restrictions.

Managing people who work at a distance from a company office is a far different situation than managing those we work with in person.  Rather than trying to manage a remote worker the same ways as you would someone in the next office, try these top 10 ways to build trust, inspire confidence and recognize your remote employees.

  1. Keep everyone connected.  Make it easy for on-site colleagues to get in touch with remote workers. Telephone systems, instant messaging and voice calling over internet applications enable remote workers to feel connected and a part of the team. [Now we have videoconferencing tools such as Zoom which was founded in 2011.]
  2. Recognize expectations met. Remote workers consistently meet deadlines and expected levels of performance and should be recognized as valuable assets for their focused dedication. Make time to quickly phone them or leave after work voice mails to specifically praise them for their dependable track record.
  3. Encourage transparency.  Support remote workers personal needs with family and life by developing transparent sharing of schedules and appointments.  Just knowing where they are at any given time helps build trust with the rest of the team who are used to more traditional work schedules.  [COVID-19 has required multiple partners, spouses, and children to be home together and juggling personal needs and use of technology and internet.]
  4. Get information out at lightning speed.  Ensure your remote team members not only have access to the same formal and informal sources of information as their colleagues in the office but that they even get it before the internals do.
  5. Schedule weekly conversations.   Remote workers are often reluctant to seek help from their managers, human resource experts, or external sources. Set up a regular day and time to discuss workloads and assignments, ask and answer questions and concerns to maintain an open line of communication.
  6. Offer time management training. The greatest challenge for remote workers is balancing priorities to get tasks completed.  This training should include the unique challenges of dealing with family, friends, and unusual interruptions; and the feelings of guilt associated with working excessive hours. [Many new work from home employees need guidance and productivity tips to deal with isolation and work pressures.]
  7. Declare weekends free.  Create clear guidelines and expectations regarding response to e-mails and assignments on weekends.  Dedicated remote workers can easily fall into the trap of working 24/7.  Encourage shut-down and “off times” with standards on exceptions to the rule to help prevent burnout.
  8. Do remotely special things. Think about what home office employees experience on a regular basis. Now realize what remote workers are missing out on and be creative on trying to recreate that in their lives – sending edible flower arrangements on anniversaries; personalized pens and latest office gizmos; and taking them out for lunch on a specially arranged visit to their hometown location. [While you might not have the freedom to send tangible items, make sure you show them care and concern, and give what you can to support them.]
  9. Empower workers for productivity.  Provide training and mentoring on overcoming the challenges of working remotely. Training will help make remote workers more productive and more satisfied with their working experience.  Provide the choice of offering this training remotely or in-class at the company location. [There are multiple sources for online training now since in-class instructions is prohibited.]
  10. Managers must learn how to trust. Managers must learn and adapt to managing the ever-growing virtual employees now in excess of 50 million.  Learning how to create high-trust relationships must become a core skill for managing the almost invisible powerhouse of remote workers.

Recognition Reflection: What practices have you started doing to better appreciate your new “work from home” employees?

How To Appreciate Your Administrative Professionals Virtually

It is Administrative Professionals Week and on Wednesday it is Administrative Professionals Day. Make sure you do something special to acknowledge these hardworking professionals who make your work run smoothly and keep you organized.

Following are eight ways to consider on how to appreciate these special people even virtually in this time of remote working because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Why It’s Important to Celebrate the Completion of a Project

Done! Complete!

You and your team have just finished an assigned project.

High fives all around—even if virtually

A lot of time went into the various elements of this project—from conception to implementation The outcomes and learning points were valuable and worthwhile. You are grateful for the wonderful collaboration across the team from all their various locations. Together, you overcame major obstacles to make a positive result.

So, should you celebrate?

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How To Celebrate Your Amazing Employees During the COVID-19 Crisis

In a recent recommendations list for dealing with the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis, I mentioned the need to “remember to celebrate” your many new employees working from home. Whether birthdays, career milestones, or going above and beyond, along with the display of incredible resiliency of so many employees, there’s always so much to celebrate with our employees. And remember to thank and recognize others who assist you in your daily work and life in general.

How to celebrate employees effectively from a distance and those around you is not always easy, but it is always possible. To stimulate some celebration ideas for you, consider the following list.

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Top 10 Positive Actions to Take with the COVID-19 Crisis

While many companies have moved to a work from home way of life for the immediate future, we still have companies that are proceeding with business. These helpful actions are a good way to keep your employees healthy and your business running strong during a health crisis, no matter where they are working from.  

  1. Keep employees more informed. Update employees through your company’s intranet website—it’s a single place to find important organizational information.
  2. Actively encourage sick employees to stay home. Since health authorities think the virus mainly spreads person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people, encourage sick employees to stay at home and consult their doctor, no matter how minor the symptoms are.
  3. Go virtual for your meetings. To lessen the number of close contact meetings, consider going more virtual with on-line or teleconference meetings. Many leading tech companies are providing free access to their software so people can connect during this time.
  4. Create telecommute options, where possible. If work functions fit and circumstances such as high geographic incidence rates raise a high risk for contracting COVID-19, offer employees the option to work from home.
  5. Practice healthy living. Promote healthy habits by encouraging employees to follow guidelines from the CDC, WHO, and local health authorities, etc.
  6. Purchase supplies. Try to keep your facilities stocked with tissues, soap, and anti-bacterial cleansers to help employees practice healthy living and reduce spread.
  7. Use regular email communications. Send out email communications reminding employees of the right and wrong things to be doing like avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth to prevent spread of germs.  
  8. If someone should get the Coronavirus. Be prepared to have the communication channels available and use managers to inform your entire workforce immediately on how to mitigate risk.  
  9. Show caring concern. Send a get-well card and/or gift basket to your ill employee to let them know you care since no one plans on catching the flu.
  10. Signs for the times. Post signs in restrooms, throughout office or common areas reminding all to wash their hands and wiping down their workstations frequently. 

Trying to accept this new “normal” is difficult. However, businesses that have a strategy, keep the lines of communication open, and understand the ever-changing impacts of positive actions, will weather this storm.

Recognition Reflection: What special steps are you taking for dealing with the COVID-19 virus and helping your employees?

How Saying Thank You Can Be Meaningful or Empty

Saying thank you to someone should be a wonderful expression and witness of our sincere appreciation and gratitude for a person and/or something they have done for us or others.

But what if the speaker of thanks is being manipulative with those two words that many of us long to hear? How do you know if they spoke the words with authenticity? Are they meaningful?

Let’s first examine what the words “thank you” mean. 

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How To Gain Greater Confidence With Giving Recognition

Nathaniel Branden, author of The Power of Self-Esteem, defined confidence as, “our ability to think and to cope with the basic challenges of life.” He said that “confidence is our right to be happy, the feeling of being worthy, deserving, entitled to assert our needs and wants and to enjoy the fruits of our efforts.”

Often a lack of confidence comes from low self-esteem, insecurity, and self-doubt.

In the work setting, a lack of confidence can affect us in many ways. And in recognizing employees, it can stop you in your tracks from not giving recognition to deserving colleagues and employees.

Let’s look at various ways to improve the level of confidence with giving effective and meaningful recognition.

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Let Me Explain Recognition and Rewards One More Time

What do you do when you want to recognize people? What’s the right reward for employees when you feel they need one?

Recognition, as I have shared before, is mostly an intangible expression of acknowledgment and valuing of a person’s positive behaviors, personal effort, and the great contributions they have made. Recognition is your personal communication and feedback stating how you admire and appreciate someone for what they are doing. Recognition is a gift, not a right.

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