We all want to give people recognition that is valuable and meaningful.
The trouble is so few of us have been shown how to actually do this.
I think you can make something more valuable by putting in the extra time, effort and care needed to enhance the value of a person and their contributions.
Consider the jeweller who changes a diamond buried within the rough stone into a glorious and sparkling, multi-faceted gem.
This is exactly what you must do to give people the valuable and meaningful recognition they desire.
Like the diamond jeweller, valuable recognition requires specialized knowledge and techniques, and possibly tools and equipment to make it happen.
There is a simplified process for making diamonds I want to share with you.
I think you will find this process helpful, as I want you to think of yourself as bringing out the diamond in each of your employees.
Making Employees Valuable Gems
There are various stages in crafting a diamond and I share just a few of these same stages as cue points for what you need to do to make your recognition more valuable and meaningful.
Stage 1: Planning
Before computers diamond planning was done by the naked eye. Jewellers plan out how to cut the rough diamond stone into the desired shape and design for maximum value. Now computer software analyzes the best way to do this.
You also have to plan out how to give the right kind of recognition for maximum value. Know your employee’s motivations and preferences for recognition and either remember this or keep a record on your computer or electronic device.
Become a keen observer of your employees and meet with them one-on-one to learn all you can of how priceless they really are.
Stage 2: Marking
This is where the skilled craftsperson outlines the best possible shape and cut of the diamond.
You can think of this as coming up with your options for how to express your recognition, the ideal environment to give it in, publicly or privately, striving for uniqueness from previous acknowledgments.
Employees value getting information and feedback about their performance on the job. Mark out ahead of time what you will say and what you need to do that is meaningful to each respective employee.
Stage 3: Blocking
A jeweller blocks out the rough diamond to create the various facets known as corners and pavilions to create four of each. These elements run in different directions due to the structure of the natural diamond.
There are many facets to each employee that often get ignored. Your job is to bring out these natural elements to let them shine. Each person is different so “block” out, or bring out, these special factors.
Honor individuals for their talents and abilities and for who they are independent of their work. Ensure you make time to celebrate their efforts and the special difference they have made through their work.
Stage 4: Polishing
Diamonds have 16 main facets and a jeweller’s end task is to polish and make each facet shine and sparkle to the human eye. They even have a term called “brillianteering” for adding and polishing diamond elements known as stars, pavilions and crown halves.
Where acceptable to the employee, valuable recognition is about finding ways to make the employee and their actions shine and sparkle throughout the company. How can you make them look brilliant in the eyes of others?
With permission of employees communicate out the good work that is being done and the positive exemplary actions that are impacting others around them. Share with others the amazing value people bring to customers, peers and to the company.
Work hard to bring out the diamond in everyone. Think of yourself as a master jeweller and highlight the valuable and meaningful actions of those you work with.
Question: What can you do to better “plan, mark, block, and polish” to give more valuable and meaningful recognition to your employees?
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.
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