Convincing Your Leaders That Recognition is Easy to Do

Leaders play an important role as recognition givers throughout the entire organization.

However, not all leaders realize the impact they have on people through the simple act of expressing appreciation to people and recognizing their employees’ contributions.

Someone asked me to write how they could better convince their leaders that giving recognition was easy to do.

Explore the following suggestions to make recognition a leadership priority. 

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How To Use “I” Talk Versus “You” Talk in Your Recognition

Bad things can happen when you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Take the scenario of a young man I knew in his twenties making a quick purchase of snack foods and a pop at the local convenience store in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. Another man walks in to the store. But this man’s intent is to rob the convenience store of cash from the till.

This second man’s weapon of choice was a screwdriver. He stabbed the young man in the head because he was in the way. The stabbing penetrated his skull and brain resulting in motor brain damage as far as walking and use of his arm. But now he could not talk.

All he could say were approximations of consonant-vowel sounds like, “ma”, “ba”, “do”, or “to”.

This young man’s horrific life experience led me to learn how to give more meaningful recognition expressions using “I” talk language. I’ll explain.

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Get Your Managers Excited About Giving Recognition

Many of you responsible for employee recognition in your organizations have a hard time getting full support and attention of your managers.

Some just don’t get it as far as understanding the importance of recognition in the eyes of their employees.

A few managers rose to their current position solely based upon expertise or technical competency and not for any people skill or emotional intelligence strengths.

Your job is to spark their interest in recognition when they are being bombarded with so many other priorities and distractions.

In reality, we tend to remember two kinds of events in life – major negative happenings and warm, positive activities.

Your goal should be to get managers excited about giving recognition and make it a warm and positive memory for them.

Learn from these four ways to raise the excitement level. (more…)

When to Eliminate Overkill With Saying Thank You

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…)

Connecting the Dots for People with Recognition

Helping people to see the big picture

Remember those join-the-dot picture or coloring books your children had? Once they had drawn the lines between all the consecutive numbered dots…voila! A picture appeared before you that had been somewhat hidden from view.

Recognition does exactly the same thing. (more…)

Don’t Ever Pay People Compliments!

Learn to admire and commend people around you

You have probably heard someone talking about “paying someone a compliment” or being “paid a compliment.”

The funny thing is you don’t actually pay anyone anything. No money or goods are ever exchanged.

You don’t ever pay someone a compliment; you give it freely with no expectation of anything in return. (more…)

Putting Yourself in Someone Else’s Shoes

Walking the road to empathy is hard work

It was a Saturday and I had our four children all to myself. We were planning to exit the house for a while. This would provide some welcome relief for my wife who was then bedbound with her last pregnancy.

The older children were scurrying around and independently putting on jackets and running shoes and heading for the van.

Our youngest, our 3 year-old daughter, repeatedly asked me for help with tying up her shoes. She quietly said, “Daddy, can you help me put on my shoes?” (more…)

Top 10 Ways to Give More Authentic Recognition

How being genuine and totally open makes for better recognition

When giving recognition to people our task is to make this act as memorable of an experience as possible. Unfortunately, it is the execution of the recognition giving that can kill the moment. We need to be thinking more about what the recipient would like to have happen. This month’s Top 10 tips will guide you in giving real, authentic recognition. (more…)

Great Recognition Is All in the Eyes

Becoming aware of how people react to our recognition

Have you ever noticed how people respond to the different kinds of recognition you give to them?

That’s how I came across the observation that great recognition is all in the eyes.

I first noticed this phenomenon on a cross-Atlantic flight seated in first class at the request of a European client I was meeting with.

The flight attendant, who we will call Jane, made the usual courtesies of hanging up my jacket and providing me with a glass of juice before takeoff. (more…)

3 Ways To Get More People Giving Recognition More Often

How to get recognition happening more frequently throughout the organization

Woman chained to her desk

Almost 20 years ago, I got into the field of employee recognition after seeing too many employees feeling unappreciated and unvalued for their contributions.

Leaders, as well as employees, felt recognition was an expectation only from managers to employees – a top-down approach – whereas today we are more aware that everyone has a responsibility to appreciate one another. Recognition should be multi-directional and not just top-down.

What I saw back then were managers being told to go and give more recognition but no one was showing them how to do it. (more…)