Know Everything You Can About The People You’re Recognizing

When you want to give amazing recognition to people, you must know everything you can about the people you are recognizing. 

Recognition people feel is much more about the person than it ever is about any action on their part. Recognition is more than they do something, then they get something. 

Real recognition is about appreciating the whole person and recognizing them for what they do. 

Recognition is mostly an intangible expression of acknowledgement and valuing of an individual or a team, for their positive behaviours, their personal effort, or contributions they have made. 

The key is making your recognition very personal. Let’s explore how you can do that. 

Personalizing The Recognition You Give People

Your primary focus on giving recognition is the person you are recognizing. It has nothing to do with you. Recognition is never about you. It is all about the recipient.

You want the recognition you give someone to be relevant and real. They need to experience the recognition positively and that they actually feel it.

To do that, you need to look at every element of the recognition experience. 

In the post I wrote on

How to Ask Employees About Their Recognition Preferences

I lay out looking at the specific details around a person’s needs for recognition. Not everyone needs recognition the same amount as another individual. Find out how often they like being recognized and what they like being recognized for.

Learn things about the timing of recognition and how well you’ve been doing in recognizing people in a timely fashion. 

Find out who are the most meaningful people they like to receive recognition from. This is when you can investigate how peer-to-peer recognition is going. And what about hearing from a senior leader once in a while?

You may also consider where the best setting is for giving recognition. These days there might be little choice with so many work-from-home employees. But find out if seeing your face through video conferencing is an important factor or not, rather than relying on the phone or my email. 

Your goal is to find out and set up a written or online profile of each person’s recommended recognition preferences. Imagine how they are feeling with the recognition you have given them so far. Ask them and confirm if you’re right. 

Arrange a Recognition Preference Interview 

Sitting down with each of your employees to find out exactly how they like to be recognized can be very insightful. It’s important to find out what they like and what they don’t like with recognition.  

You may also learn how well they think you are doing with recognizing them. Take a deep breath and be ready to receive candid feedback. 

Learn more here by reading

How To Get Ready for a Recognition Preference Interview 

Create a recognition profile for each of your employees. Have them go on your recognition programs and complete any personal profiles that allow them to show birthday and personal anniversaries, and other significant life events. 

Discover their hobbies, interests, favorite TV shows, movies, books they read, and aspirations for the future.

Your goal here is to dive deeper into a person’s interests and what their world looks like. Create a persona for the employee and what tokens of recognition would resonate with them the most. 

Find Out About The Important People In Their Lives 

Learn the names of spouses, partners, children, parents, and the other special people in their lives… like pets. 


How To Support Staff With What’s Happening With Their Family

to uncover more recognition ideas.

The biggest thing is showing care and concern for your employees and their family and friends as unique life events, celebrations, and tragedies occur. Be mindful of health struggles and keep on top of these concerns. Sending an appropriate card to their home during an illness or life struggle, with a well thought out message, can really make a person’s day. 

Your goal here is to know the important people in each person’s life and to keep informed of the status of everyone’s wellbeing, so you can show empathy at all times.

These are just a few ways you can draw upon to personalize the recognition you give people every day. 

Recognition Reflection: How do you personalize the recognition to each of the employees in your organization?

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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