How To Make Recognition a Great Gift

Recognition is something special that connects the giver with the recipient uniquely by their expression of recognition or the gift of recognition they give.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School Professor, nicely delineated the difference between compensation and recognition, when she said that, “Compensation is a right; recognition is a gift.” 

What can you do to make the recognition you give to people a great gift? 

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Know Everything You Can About The People You’re Recognizing

When you want to give amazing recognition to people, you must know everything you can about the people you are recognizing. 

Recognition people feel is much more about the person than it ever is about any action on their part. Recognition is more than they do something, then they get something. 

Real recognition is about appreciating the whole person and recognizing them for what they do. 

Recognition is mostly an intangible expression of acknowledgement and valuing of an individual or a team, for their positive behaviours, their personal effort, or contributions they have made. 

The key is making your recognition very personal. Let’s explore how you can do that. 

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How To Do One Thing With Recognition Better Than Anyone Else

I have this great quote on my desk from Jason Goldberg, the American film and television producer, that says, “Find your one thing and do that one thing better than anyone else.” 

This has been my goal with employee recognition in trying to understand meaningful and effective recognition practices and how to make recognition programs amazing. 

So, how are you going to improve your recognition better than anyone else?

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This Is What Awesome Recognition Looks Like

Some people seem to be just a natural when they are out and about in the company as far as appreciating people for who they are and recognizing the wonderful contributions made by employees.

There will always be others who have a much harder time in recognizing others. For whatever reasons, such as not being recognized as a child, perhaps more introverted, or plain uncomfortable with knowing what to say or do, recognition doesn’t happen.

But the great news is that giving awesome recognition to people is a skill anyone can learn.

When you know what something hard to do looks like, such as a new skill you have to learn, observe those people that do it well. Then all you have to do is reverse engineer how they do the task or skill and then you can replicate this ideal performance and do it yourself.

What does awesome recognition look like? How can you learn to master this art and science of giving meaningful and effective recognition?

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How Adding Time and Effort Actually Enhances Your Rewards

I have always been a big advocate of the fact that it’s the quality of your recognition that makes it a big deal.

Time and time again, I have witnessed how when you put more of a personal touch into the recognition and rewards you give, the more meaningful and effective the effect will be on the recipient and on their performance. 

I have summed this principle up before by saying, when you give people recognition you don’t have to give them a reward; when you give people a reward, you must always accompany it with recognition.

Now I have a social science experiment to share with you that validates this principle.

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Helping Employees Learn To Give Recognition Their Way

Your employees need to receive clear expectations from your leaders to take ownership for learning for how they can give more effective and meaningful recognition to everyone they work with.

You won’t be able to do this well on your own. But with solid leadership support you’ll be successful.

I had thought about personalization before especially when I think of how to recognize people. With learning about giving effective recognition skills, I can make assumptions about how personalization could work there too. But I had never thought about the term individualization with learning.

For this insight I am grateful to Sharlyn Lauby from HR Bartender for defining these two terms as they relate to training and learning.

Look and see how you can put these concepts into practice to make learning recognition easier and more practical for your employees. (more…)

What Would You Like To Be Recognized For?

 

It’s easy to forget that the people we work with do not necessarily need the same amount or type of recognition as the person next to them does.

Recognition is not a cookie cutter formula. How you like to be recognized will not be the same for me, for example. You should make time to find out what each of your colleagues and employees likes, and dislikes, around their desired recognition preference.

Which also begs the question to discover what everyone likes to be recognized for.

Some people have a greater need for validation of their individual worth and their job performance than others do. You will find this is often the case for new and younger employees. The need for recognition will typically reduce as one matures and is longer in a company.

But perhaps you’ve fallen into the default mode of recognizing absolutely everyone whenever they put forth an extra effort or achieve something significant. Were your attempts at giving recognition really valued and appreciated by each individual? (more…)

How To Improve Your Employees’ Recognition Experience

Many of you have a variety of online recognition programs available to your employees and managers to use.

Employees can usually acknowledge their colleagues or even express appreciation and thanks to a supervisor or manager. Most of the online recognition, award, and reward programs are peer-to-peer, manager to employee, and with formal award programs, the organization to the employee.

Sometimes, we make our recognition programs but they end up being too transactional in nature. When this happens, it can lead to a less than ideal recognition experience for your employees.

What needs to happen is more humanizing of our technological recognition programs.

I am going to give you seven P’s to consider when creating any meaningful and memorable recognition experience with your programs. (more…)

Don’t Leave Recognition To The Last Minute

There are some things you just don’t forget.

Often these unforgettable events in our lives are one of two types.

They are either the most positive and meaningful of experiences or they are the most painful and haunting of memories.

One recognition experience I had left an indelible impression upon me because I had to personally draw on the very things I usually teach other people to do.

Consider a time when you have had to use the recognition practices and methods you teach others to do.

Here’s my story about not leaving recognition to the last minute. (more…)

Recognizing Loyalty Is Such a Simple Thing

The day started out so much better than two days ago when I attempted to fly with another (not-to-be-named) airline. There were unpredictable mechanical problems that day. And I must confess, the pilot and flight attendant appropriately handled apologies, even though we had to deplane to exit and rebook our flights.

But the handoff after leaving the plane was lousy.

On that unforgettable occasion, it resulted in a 16-hour long day of being in airports and planes. My experience was the gate attendants and ticketing staff all dropped the ball multiple times.

I did not feel like a valued customer. It was easy not to feel loyal to that airline that day. And naturally, I told my sob story as often as I could find a listening ear. (more…)