Sometimes, you and I can fail miserably when we give gifts or awards to people.
You can have all the best intentions. You checked off everything on your planning checklists and you completed the event tasks. But still the gift or award just sits there. Flat. Meaningless. Non-communicative.
Just like the service award gift that one recipient had dutifully selected from the online catalogue. Then, only to find it one day still in the original mailing package, plopped in the middle of their work desk. Not a word spoken. Deathly silence.
Take note for a week of the various ways people react after you or others give them recognition, whether in private or in public. It might surprise you the images you capture and the verbal responses you hear.
You might express the recognition face-to-face, remotely through video conferencing applications; in a written email, ecard or paper card; or through text based, audio- or video-messaged greeting on your organization’s recognition programs.
But how does the recipient respond?
Many people are uncomfortable being recognized. When you’ve been recognized what do you do? How accepting are you of the recognition?
January and welcome to National Thank You month.
While etiquette professionals and books promote the idea of sending
out Thank You Notes,
don’t neglect the behavior of saying thank you too.
They have designated January as National Thank You Month.
This might have originated from the greeting card industry because of
receiving gifts following the Christmas holidays and they want you to buy their
printed cards. I know my wife and I dutifully sat down on the last Sunday in
December and wrote our Thank You notes
to our children. It is a lovely reflective time to treasure and remember what
we have received.
Learn to make saying or expressing thanks to those around you more
a way of life beyond this designated month.
A subscriber of our Authentic Recognition blog suggested I should
write about the difference between
recognition (more related to work) versus appreciation (more related to the
I asked them why this topic was
important right now. It seems their organization uses the Gallup Organization’s
Q12 engagement survey every two years. In the past year they focused on the
recognition specific question/statement #4, “In the last seven days, I have
received recognition or praise for doing good work”.
Her research, like many of us have found, led her to see that
“recognition in the workplace” has so many meanings.
She wisely observes that “people fundamentally want to be
‘understood and cared for’ or ‘appreciated’ and would prefer that over ‘recognition’”
She asked for my thoughts on the
differences between recognition and appreciation. Apparently, her
organization will likely continue with using recognition. However, she wonders
if more time should be spent on appreciation instead of recognition in order to
improve the Gallup survey scores.
How good are you at giving recognition? Do you feel like your attempts to praise and acknowledge people are hitting the mark?
Maybe you are already good at appreciating people for who they are and recognizing them for what they do.
Each of us will be naturals at recognizing people or have a lot of things still to learn. But what is good for those of you, who feel they are not so confident or competent at giving recognition, is that recognition is a learned behavior. Phew! We all have a chance at getting better at this skill, which is a highly ranked need of employees.
Consider your own strengths and weaknesses in giving meaningful and effective recognition. Do you know what you do well? Where should you begin? (more…)
You may have experienced the kind of thank you I’m talking about at some point in your life.
What is an empty thank you?
This is when a manager or immediate supervisor thanks an employee without being fully aware of all that was involved with the task being acknowledged. It is hollow gratitude and means very little or nothing at all. (more…)
There are times when we probably do overkill on saying thank you a little too much.
Take, for example, Brian Crane’s daily Pickles comic strip which depicts a retired couple in their seventies. Earl and Opal Pickles, the main characters in the cartoon, reveal a social phenomena I’ve observed in the workplace as well as at home regarding receiving Thank You’s. (more…)