Happy or Engaged IV
Over the years, I have witnessed countless recognition “programs”. There are even companies that create these programs and support them with gifts or awards. You have all encountered the “Employee of the Month” program, which would have to the number one program across the US and possibly the world. This program is executed in many different fashions and has been changed, re-engineered, vamped up, etc. over the years. Originally this program was simple, the boss picked the best employee for the previous month and took their picture and put it up on the wall. This process was awesome…for a while and then suddenly it appeared to be unfair or bias. That is when all the changes began.
When I started working, I always did my best and gave 110% every day, I wanted my picture on the wall. Just pointing out that this approach works for some, but not all. The “all” is what we should be focusing on, not just the one. First, I need to make it very clear that I am not bashing this program or any of the companies out there that are built around this type of recognition. What I am saying, this is not sufficiently recognizing your employees by itself. If you choose to implement or continue a program, just make sure it is not creating as many issues as it is solving.
I have always enjoyed listening to all employees, ones that work with me and ones that work for other companies. They have so much knowledge of their jobs and their companies. When I worked in hotels, I used to eat lunch with the staff at least 4 times a week. It was fun, informative and it helped me understand their roles and challenges. Recognition is an art, one that is easily learned and mastered, but it will take some effort on your part.
If you don’t currently see yourself as a “recognition kind of person” then start out slow and build your way up to that kind of person, you will benefit with every baby step you take. Recognition does not have to be an award, a gift or a monetary bonus. Recognition can be as simple as a Thank You! Recognition can be a “Good Job” or a “Way to Go”. I have had bosses who never uttered these words and I have had leaders who always let me know I was appreciated and they recognized me regularly. Notice one was a boss and the other was a leader? I would have done anything my boss told me to do because it was my job. I did everything my leader told me with all my heart and soul. Now I’m not saying that to be a leader you only must recognize your team…but it is certainly one of the characteristics of a leader.
Recognition is a massive topic, but since I value your time, only one last insight. Recognition works best when it is done publicly. Give the recognition in front of others, not just the recipient.
Start recognizing today and make your own personal recognition plan to recognize worthy members of your team on a daily basis.