You hear a lot about mindfulness these days.
Mindfulness is a therapeutic technique for creating a conscious awareness of being in the present moment.
Now, if you couple mindfulness with employee recognition, you will have a greater awareness of the things people are doing around you that merit being acknowledged and appreciated.
By creating more empathetic feelings toward the people you work with you can also show more caring concern for the positive and negative life events that affect them and their families.
You can become better at acknowledging and accepting your own thoughts and feelings, having an environmental awareness, all in a non-judgmental way.
It only takes a few things each day to keep a recognition focus.
Developing a Recognition Giving Mindset
There are four areas of behaviors or habits you need to develop to have a recognition mindset.
Be gentle with yourself, as you will not master these practices all at once. It is a daily habit building exercise, and some of you will be better at some areas than others.
1. Appreciative Attitudes
First, is developing Appreciative Attitudes, where you ground yourself each morning before starting work and throughout your workday.
You can do this by sending out emails of gratitude and thanks before opening up your email inbox or performing your work routines and tasks.
This morning I emailed thanks to some friends who sent my wife and me something on a personal level. And I also thanked a colleague who assisted me with my presentation preparations.
It starts the day on a positive note and helps your mind focus on the positive.
2. Inspiring Intent
Why do you want to recognize people? Do you want to lift people up emotionally and motivationally? Consider these questions and answer what your purpose, or “why” answer is, for expressing appreciation to people.
Develop the desire to inspire people on a daily basis. This will cause you to look at people not as “staff” but as people and friends needing to be encouraged to be their best selves and do their best work.
I often reflect on the questions employees and managers of organizations send me to answer in wanting to address their recognition concerns.
Many of these issues would be solved if they began with developing the right intentions for recognition giving.
3. Recognition Routines
What ways do you tend to use to recognize people? Have you built in time in your day to stop and recognize people? Do you vary the ways you acknowledge people? Are you aware of the recognition preferences of those you work with?
It is good to develop some regular recognition routines to keep recognition top of mind. Then with these routines happening you’ll become more aware and prepared for the spontaneous recognition moments.
- I have already mentioned starting the day off with a gratitude email or phone call to express your gratitude and thanks, first thing each day.
- Consider writing a written thank you note – a rarity these days – at the end of each day, or at least once a week, for some outstanding effort or service by a colleague.
- Ensure in your emails you are acknowledging people for the work completed that they have sent to you.
- When time permits do the old fashioned walk around and give compliments or praise for the work and contributions people are making.
- Use your online recognition programs each day to spread the good news around of the amazing work people have done.
4. Positive Practices
There are a lot of positive practices we should be doing that get lost in the shuffle of daily interpersonal skills and work.
For example, did you know that managers of high performing teams use 5 times more positive and affirming language in their statements and requests than low performing teams?
Learn to be more specific in the feedback and praise you give people. Refrain from using lines like “good job” and “well done” in isolation. To improve, work at verbalizing your appreciation for the specific positive action or effort the person made. Also, make sure you tell them specifically the impact or difference their positive actions had on people.
Finally, watch the tone of voice you use when recognizing people. Research shows listeners, who can’t see the person speaking to them, can still determine when a person is smiling just from their voice. So smile when you’re praising people and make sure you have a positive tone of voice.
These are just some of the habits and behaviors you can follow to make recognition giving top of mind each day in the workplace.
Reflective Question: How do you prepare yourself each day to be more recognition minded at work?
Roy is no longer writing new content for this site (he has retired!), but you can subscribe to Engage2Excel’s blog as Engage2Excel will be taking Roy’s place writing about similar topics on employee recognition and retention, leadership and strategy.