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.

Become more grateful. Develop an attitude of gratitude and strive to count your blessings every day. Openly acknowledge the great things that happen to you and others at work. This will seed your observations of what to recognize. And put the words “I am grateful…” more often in the emails you send out to people.

Develop recognition awareness. Monitor yourself and notice how often you stop and recognize people around you for doing positive things and good work done well. Notice others around you when you see them recognize people and, more importantly, observe the reaction of the recipients of their recognition.

Acknowledge your weaknesses. Not everyone is a natural at expressing recognition to people. Chose a recognition behavior you need to improve in and are comfortable to tackle. Put that skill to practice at least once each day and record somewhere your reflections on how it went. Practice leads to perfect practice and perfect practice leads to perfect recognition.

Set the stage. Remove all distractions from view whenever you are recognizing employees face-to-face. Put the smartphone away, close the laptop screen, and if in an office perhaps close the door. And even for remote employees do the same thing so you can concentrate on being fully engaged with them over the phone or by videoconference.

Identify recognition preferences. Learn the preferences for how people like to be recognized and then respect those wishes and act upon them. Sit down with staff or peers and candidly ask them how they like to be recognized. Take notes on what you discover and keep it handy in a notebook or on your computer so you can refer to it often.

Get physically ready. Let your voice and body language reflect your genuine feelings of warmth and excitement when recognizing people. Don’t forget to smile when verbally recognizing people. Show your staff your sincere feelings of amazement and appreciation by putting your whole body and positive voice into the recognition you give.

Say it right. Be specific with how you express and write your feelings of appreciation towards others. Remove from your vocabulary trite phrases like, “Well done” or “Good job!” Praise people specifically by stating the positive actions or behaviors they did. Then tell the person specifically how what they did made a difference to you and others.

Validate people’s worth. People want to feel accepted and appreciated for who they are and all that they bring to the workplace. Each person brings so much more with them than their skills and education. They have invested their time in life through their heritage, their family, and in their community. Honor and recognize people for who they are.

Praise positive actions. Recognize people for the good and positive things they do every day. No matter how small the action may be, if it made you feel positive emotions for what they did, then stop and acknowledge them. Recognition is not just about achievements. Most employees tell me they just want to be recognizedfor what they do.

Recognize people frequently. Progress to working hard at actively acknowledging, praising, and recognizing those you work with on a frequent and regular basis. When only a third of employees claim they are recognized oncea week for doing good work, you have to hope you are one of the people that makes that number happen.

Recognition Reflection: What specific recognition attitude or behavior do you need to work on?

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