In life, I strive for a basic level of minimalism. I still have a lot of things, but I continually get rid of some things I no longer need or use so I can focus more on what’s most important to me—such as family, friends, joy, and freedom. Minimalism can make a real difference.
However, when expressing recognition to the people you and I work with, there is no need for minimalism with how you communicate your praise and appreciation to them. That means, as I have said before, that those meaningless, short phrases like “good job” and “well done,” don’t work.
If you’re still using them, you’ve gone too far with decluttering your recognition messaging.
This post is all about showing you the importance of telling people the difference their positive actions make on others.
When I conducted a management survey several years ago in the public sector, a response to one question asked revealed that 93 percent of all managers said senior leader involvement in recognition programs was very or extremely important. A large majority, 75 percent, said it was extremely important.
These same managers said only 21 percent of leaders were very involved with their recognition programs.
Our research shows that organizations with leaders committed to supporting award and recognition programs strategically, financially, and by example, have higher employee evaluations for feeling appreciated for their contributions on the job.
All that remains for you to do is to get your leaders using your online recognition programs. Try out some of the following suggestions.
Perhaps you got lulled in by the 1990s mantra that “if you build it, they will come” when you designed your online recognition program.
The truth is the origin of that quote is a misquotation from the movie “Field of Dreams”. In the movie it is the lead character played by Kevin Costner, who hears the whisper from the cornfield, that “if you build it, he will come”. The “it” refers to a baseball field and the “he” is a long deceased, famous baseball player idolized by the lead character.
We all know the premise of the quote as it relates to business contradicts basic marketing principles. Establish a need for something first before you ever build it.
Let’s examine some reasons I have seen for why recognition programs may not be working very well.
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?
It is hard to teach everyone how to give meaningful and effective recognition to one another, no matter the size of the organization you work for.
That’s why you need to enlist an army of people to aid you.
Dictionary.com explains that the more helpers you have available to you then the task will be easier. The proverb “many hands make light work” was reportedly first recorded in English in the early 1300s in a knightly romance known as Sir Bevis of Hampton. However, John Heywood, a 16th century writer known for his plays, poems, and collection of proverbs, is most often attributed as the originator of this proverb.
What can you do to teach other to help you teach people in your organization how to give amazing recognition to one another?