Finding time to recognize others can be challenging, that’s for sure.
But when we take on an attitude of respecting and valuing people and their contributions then recognition becomes so much easier to do.
Yes, recognition giving requires personal commitment and self-discipline.
By putting a few of the following time management principles into place you will see how you will have more time for recognition giving.
- Plan recognition into your day.If you don’t have some scheduled time to make recognition happen you won’t do it. I have periodic reminders in my calendar cuing me to express appreciation to someone that day. Or I might remind myself after a project completion to acknowledge those involved.
- Always start your day with gratitude and recognition. Take time to reflect on some messages of gratitude. Who are you grateful for at work that has made a difference for you? Let them know by a call, voicemail message, email or handwritten card. None of these activities take very long to do.
- If you’re responsible for meetings make them shorter. Meetings have been described as where “minutes are kept and hours are lost.” Reduce the number of meetings and make the ones you have shorter and more productive. You’ll get some time back to be with your employees and observe the great things they do.
- Acknowledge people at the beginning of your meetings. Too often recognition is saved until the end of the agenda. Then it gets knocked off because of the preceding agenda items taking too long. Express your appreciation to attendees who merit being recognized first. Make sure you know whether they would accept public recognition favorably before doing so.
- Live by “See Something, Say Something”. I’ve always been grateful to the Transportation Security Administration in the U.S. airports and their security reminders over the public announcement system. Their message of “see something, say something” speaks also to giving recognition right away. When someone does anything good or praiseworthy always acknowledge it as soon as possible.
- When you email someone, use appreciative wording. Many of us live in a world inundated with emails. Our work requires us to send out emails too. Consider making your emails a source of appreciation where you express your gratitude to people. Using words like, “I am grateful for your help,” changes the whole tone of your email. And people respond more positively when you do.
- Pause at the end of the day and send recognition. When you’re almost ready to head out and pack things up, reflect on all that happened that day. Are there individuals you may not have recognized for what they did for you? Make time to send them whatever form of appreciation you can in the time remaining.
A lack of time has always been the most common reason given for not recognizing people. However, evidence shows that the time required to express recognition verbally or in writing takes a matter of seconds.
Apply some of the principles above and find more time to acknowledge the wonderful people around you.
Reflective Question: Where do you most often get stuck with making time for giving recognition?
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.