My purpose for this post is to convince you to make some changes. Strive to build positive relationships on a regular basis with your employees. This is an essential practice to develop in order to improve the value of nonmonetary recognition.
When you have a positive relationship with your staff, you are creating a foundation on which to build employee recognition, employee engagement, and a complete employee experience. This positive relationship strength between a giver of recognition and the recipient helps to enhance the value of the recognition and show the authenticity of the recognition expressed.
I’m going to share with you some principles to apply in fostering a more positive relationship with your employees and those you work with.
The principles I want you to put into practice I call the PRIME Factors for giving recognition. They all hinge on forming a positive relationship with your employees. Employees and all human beings interpret social cues from how a person recognizes them.
Examine these five principles carefully.
P = Proximity. When I speak of proximity, I am referring to the degree of closeness an individual has with another. The greater the closeness or proximity is between a giver of recognition and the receiver, the perception of the quality of recognition is stronger. Therefore, it is so essential to reach out and build closer relationships with your staff. This proximity can also relate to the positional distance of a person’s role in relation to another in the hierarchy of positions. Here, a peer would have closest proximal distance of positional strength than a senior leader.
R= Relationship. When you build strong relationships between people, you build trust with them through regular communication, openness and sharing, emotional connections of life experiences, and working together to prove each other’s dependability, trust, and respect. Put all these qualities together and you will have a positive relationship with someone. Even senior leaders can establish positive relationships with employees by creating practices like talking with staff informally in the cafeteria, or daily writing notes of thanks and appreciation to staff throughout the organization.
I = Intangibility. When you give recognition, it does not need to contain any tangible component to it. Yes, you can give a token of appreciation, however, your recognition need not include a gift or any other tangible reward. In fact, the stronger the intangibility is of your recognition the value of the recognition is greater. How can you give better recognition so that the quality of it improves the value of the recognition you give?
M = Meaningfulness. One factor most often commented on regarding recognition is whether it is sufficiently meaningful to the recipient. Again, the greater the degree of meaningfulness in the eyes of the recipient, the higher the perception is given to the recognition received. When you take time and effort to communicate recognition sincerely or give a personalized gift to a person, the act of meaningfulness behind the recognition speaks volumes. This factor requires knowing your employees well and using this knowledge to recognize the efforts and contributions people make.
E = Execution. The better the execution of the recognition and how it is expressed and delivered, then the greater the positive perception a recipient has of the recognition received. This could include respecting a person’s recognition preferences for private versus public recognition, or even ensuring the recognition is given in the right setting and environment. Taking a little more care, time, and effort will give you the opportunity to carry out the recognition experience in as unique and memorable way possible.
Need for Relationship Building
With social exchange theory, it is presumed that by giving nonmonetary recognition to employees they will reciprocate in kind with greater loyalty to the organization.
Likewise, there are varying degrees of reciprocity that employees will give to their employer, depending on who recognizes them. Is the recognition from their immediate supervisor or manager, a peer or coworker, or from a customer or client? Perhaps the organization gives the employee the recognition in a more formal awards event.
Whoever originates the recognition can improve the quality of the recognition by effectively using the PRIME Factors.
Other research shows how positive relationships can influence the value of recognition. Where there is a positive relationship between a manager and all of their employees, then recognition given to one employee will be perceived positively by everyone. Whereas, if the manager has a poor relationship with all the employees, then if they recognize a single employee that recipient negatively perceives the recognition along with their peers.
Plan in opportunities to connect with your colleagues and staff as often as is right for you. This will give you the chance to learn about the amazing things people do that deserve your recognition. By actively listening to learn more about the people you work with and their lives you can actively develop positive relationships with them.
Positive relationships lead to giving better quality recognition.
Recognition Reflection: Do you have a relationship building plan in place to enhance the quality of your recognition and employee experience?
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.