Please Show Me How To Recognize People the Right Way

The best way to learn how to give amazing recognition to people that always hits the mark is to have someone show you how to do it. But it is a lot more than being shown what to do. Be an attentive observer of the intricacies that go into meaningful and effective recognition. 

Observe people and look for the emotional imagery they manifest in recognizing colleagues. Describe what you think recipients are feeling based on their reactions to being recognized. At different times, you can stop and ask people how they felt about the recognition received. 

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Why Integrating Recognition Into Your Leadership Development Is So Important

One area repeatedly comes up weak when I assess many organizations on their recognition practices and programs. That missing element is recognition, and they barely touched upon it in their leadership development curriculum. 

True, they may or may not have online education on effective recognition practices. And they might have a few tutorials on how to use their various recognition programs. 

But with educating and training leaders on effective recognition giving, the well is often dry.

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How Often Should You Be Training People On Recognition Skills?

How often should you be training people on recognition skills? 

That’s an interesting question to ponder on. Unfortunately, not enough people ever ask it or even think about it. 

Recognition skills fall into the realm of being “soft skills.” People define soft skills as personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.

What should be the frequency of soft skill training, and in particular, recognition skills? 

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Things I Wish I Had Known About Recognition As A First Time Manager

Do you recall when you were first hired or promoted to the position of manager or director of a department? I know I do. It was about three decades ago now. 

There were a lot of new tasks to perform. Many meetings to attend. Several HR functions to complete, such as submitting attendance reports for payroll. Reports of performance metrics to show productivity and efficiency.

Yet not one person instructed me on how to recognize the staff I now managed. Just recently, I was one of them. I had no clue about managing and leading people. I gave my best answers in the interview and they picked me. 

Things I wish I knew about recognition as a first-time manager were some of the following.

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Setting Learning Goals for Managers To Improve Recognition Giving

The wonderful thing about giving employees the recognition they deserve is that the ability to give recognition is a learned skill.

But the only challenge is getting managers to learn the skills they need to give Real Recognition™ the right way wherever they work.

That’s why I am going to outline some ways for your managers to set the right goals for learning how to recognize one another better. 

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3 Things To Be Mindful of When Teaching Recognition Skills

Serious african business man working on project at modern loft office, thinking about financial troubles

The times they are definitely a changing.

And if you want to help leaders and staff learn how to give better recognition to one another, you just might have to change with those times. Especially when this comes to learning recognition skills.

According to a Quantum Workplace survey conducted in June 2021, there were 30 percent of employees who considered themselves hybrid employees—working from home and sometimes in the workplace. From this same survey, 35 percent of respondents reported working remotely.

How do these workplace challenges impact how to teach recognition skills? What should you be mindful of in these changing times?

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How Creating Pithy Worded Thoughts Teach Recognition Principles

They define an axiom as “a self-evident truth that requires no proof” in certain contexts (“your employees are your greatest asset; treat them that way.”) 

They define a maxim as a wise saying (“pick a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.”)

You can teach volumes with just a few words to get your recognition message across to people. And sometimes that is exactly what you need to teach people how to give Real Recognition™ the right way wherever they work. 

Consider the following two business axioms and maxims.

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How To Use Microlearning To Gain Better Recognition Traction

All organizations struggle with gaining the proper usage of their online programs. It could be HR programs related to benefits or health and well-being, collaborative software tools, or online learning libraries and learning management systems. 

Same goes for getting leaders and employees to access and use your recognition programs on a regular and frequent basis. And then when they do get on to your recognition portal, are they giving effective and meaningful recognition to one another? 

That’s when a call goes out for microlearning! 

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Principles of Learning That Will Help People Retain Recognition Skills

Giving meaningful recognition is all about learning the science behind recognition and mastering the art of practicing this important soft skill. 

A soft skill includes all the attributes and personality traits that help employees positively interact with others and achieve success at work. Recognition is just one of those soft skills to develop. 

What learning principles will help enhance retention of the skills needed to give effective recognition to employees? Let’s take a look at some of them.

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Tell Me Something New You Have Learned About Giving Recognition

One of the great lessons you can learn as a recognition leader is finding out what other people have learned themselves after recognizing others. 

You can gain this through a self-reflection exercise after employees have learned how to give recognition. Have them write notes in a journal or record them online. Teach employees how to give memorable and meaningful recognition. Then they need to put those skills into practice back at on the job. Follow up with them a month later. You find out how they did and what they discovered.

Ask learners what they achieved with their recognition goal. Ask them to relay exactly what they learned from doing the exercise, too. 

Here are some insights gleaned from some of these self-reflective ponderings I have collected. 

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