If You Want To Give More Recognition, First Figure Out Why

I have seen where after a poor performance on the recognition measures of a recent employee engagement survey that the CEO tells all the leaders and managers to go out there and give more recognition to people.

You can probably guess why the senior leader asked them to do that. The reason was to improve the recognition scores on the next engagement survey.

This mandate from on high doesn’t work.

Giving more recognition to the people you work with for the sake of the numbers is not why you want to recognize others more.

It is not about numbers and measuring the occurrence of recognition. It is about giving recognition more purposefully.

Think along these lines in figuring out your why for giving more recognition:

·     Are you valuing people and their contributions? 

·     Do they know they are making a difference and that what they do matters? 

·     Is what they are doing work-wise aligned with the organizational values and strategic goals? 

·     Are you helping them know that the work they do each day is contributing to a bigger purpose?

·     How well respected and appreciated do your employees feel?

·     Would your employees say they feel valued?

·     Can you see how their work expresses how well others treat them? 

Know Your Recognition Purpose

Figure out why you are giving people recognition and that reason will inspire you with the meaning to actually giverecognition more often.

This goes for the entire organization. Leaders should have input on defining a recognition purpose and the philosophy of what people believe about employee recognition. This then becomes the mantra and purpose that should motivate everyone in the organization to give effective and more meaningful recognition to those they work with.

Essentially, you are answering a personal or organizational “why” question. Why should I recognize people I work with? What is our purpose for giving recognition? What is the benefit to our employees? How does our organization gain from giving recognition?

It is an opportunity for you to articulate your beliefs or discuss with others their point of view around appreciation and recognition. Why do you feel it is important? How will recognition contribute to our organization and to society?

When you are clear as to the reasons you are recognizing people, it becomes so much easier to praise and recognize those you work with.

You have a greater sense of awareness of the value of recognition. You value the worth of the people you work with. You are more grateful for the little things people do for you and others. You are mindful of the day-in and day-out work that people do that can get ignored. You learn not to take people for granted.

Instead of increasing the number of attempts or occurrences of recognition expressions or actions, try to answer the following questions:

1.    Identify your personal answer as to “why” you feel it is important to recognize and value the people you work with.

2.    Commit to becoming more aware of the research and findings across various fields that show the importance of employee recognition.

3.    Invite others to discover their personal purpose for giving recognition and include this topic in management or staff meetings.

4.    Recommend that there should be a goal for the organizational leaders to identify a purpose for recognition if not already done.

5.    Strive to give recognition with greater meaning and a higher intent to lift people up with your words and actions when acknowledging them.

As we recognize those we work with more meaning and genuine intention, the frequency part of the equation will automatically increase.

Recognition Reflection: Do you know your personal “why” for recognizing your peers and others you work with?

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.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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