Imagine if each person gave recognition just one percent better than the last time that they recognized someone. That’s all it takes to enhance your recognition practices and optimize the usage of your recognition programs. One percent improvement is all it takes. And here are some ways for you to give better recognition than anyone else every day.
Start your workday off by sending out or giving a thought of gratitude. Even if it is only one person you communicate with, imagine the difference you will make. Don’t open up your email inbox until you have emailed a message or spoken gratitude to someone.
Actively smile whenever you greet someone and especially when you recognize them. Whether face-to-face or virtually through the various video conference tools, a smile engages people and sends positive, emotional, non-verbal communication.
Ensure you make eye contact with people you express recognition to. When two people make eye contact when communicating, their brains actually synchronize emotional brainwaves and it enhances the receptiveness to what they said.
Be enthusiastic and use a positive tone of voice when verbally recognizing others. A positive tone of voice conveys the words communicated in a healthier and better way. Work to be more excited about the recognition you give, and people will feel it.
Use the person’s name in the text boxes of your online recognition programs. It is easy to neglect using a person’s name in an online program because you have selected who the message or ecard is going to. But people read the message in the box, so use it.
In text, writing, or speech, tell people specifically what you’re recognizing them for. Refrain from using the too short and sweet generic statements with your recognition. Tell them exactly what it was you noticed that impressed you. They really want to know.
In the same manner, be specific about how the person’s actions impacted others. Too often people do not know how their positive actions affected others. Share the impact their behaviors had on a peer, a customer, their boss, or for the company.
Work on using positive vocabulary versus neutral words when recognizing people. Stop using words like, “good job” or “well done.” The words “good” and “well” are neutral. And being more specific, eliminates “job,” and “done”. Get more creative. Be amazing!
Leave a voice mail message for someone expressing your thanks for their work. Try after hours to leave a voice mail message expressing your appreciation for the work an employee has done. It may surprise you how long people keep these messages and replay them.
Write a well written thank-you card or note to recognize people each day. If you write one card or note a day to any employee in the organization who has affected you, you will make a tremendous difference. Those cards become keepers, and people often reread them.
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.
Hopefully, your organization has the leadership and engagement of senior leaders, managers, and staff, to make your recognition practices and programs happen the way they should.
Not all organizations are as fortunate to have things rolling forward and progressing in innovative ways. And whether it is you taking the leadership role for recognition, or senior leaders directing the action needed, its leadership that makes recognition happen.
Leadership does not have to be a title. You just have to take the lead in something like employee recognition and then show others how to follow you.
Two magazines arrived on my desk within weeks of one another and both highlighted “feedback” on their cover articles. Then I received an email inviting me to attend an online presentation about moving from feedback to action. Looks like the topic of feedback was on my radar.
Some of us have a hard time giving feedback and even receiving feedback.
“Can I give you some feedback?”
Do you cringe at that question? Or do you look forward to discussions following that question? You and I can react so differently depending on the source of the feedback, your current work and life status, and what exactly you are being critiqued about.
There’s too much reliance upon recognition program data and engagement survey results as the source for trying to make recognition better.
All these metrics do is tell you what happened with recognition a month ago, six-months, or a year back. We don’t do a very good job with this hindsight learning. And we rarely stop to ask ourselves questions about these measurements. Nor do we plan well and take action on the data we collect.
These “output” oriented metrics are easy to measure. If you use a recognition program this is noted and recorded. Check. For engagement surveys, you answer each question using a Likert scale response, such as I feel valued and appreciated for the work I do at that particular point in time. Strongly agree.
When was that again? The program I used last month and the last engagement survey was 8 months ago. Measures like this are referred to as lagging indicators because they lag behind the occurrence of the recognition experience. A problem with lagging indicators is they are hard to improve upon or influence because they are in the past.
Let’s stop looking at retroactive memories of what caused someone to be recognized. My suggestion for improving recognition is to ask what happens before every recognition experience? Think about it.
Are you ready to see what you can do to improve the frequency of recognition being given to everyone where you work? (more…)