Recognition. Recognition. Oh, recognition.
When has recognition gone too far? And by too far, I simply mean, when is it no longer genuine? Many studies show that we like to feel appreciated and valued for the work we do. If we feel valued then in “theory” we should feel more engaged which in return will make us work harder. And if we are engaged then – BAM, productivity rises.
I guess this seems pretty straight forward, but what happens when recognition is no longer genuine or happens too often? Folks have the tendency to recognize their associates for every little thing they do. “You came to work today! Here’s a cookie.” When this happens, and I’ve seen it happen often, recognition loses it’s meaning.
According to a Gallup in, In Praise of Praising Your Employees, recognition should happen every 7 days. This makes sense. It means we are continuously being re-engaged into the work we are doing. But, as I said before, the key is to be genuine. I don’t want to be recognized for work that doesn’t make a difference, nor do others. If someone goes above and beyond, recognize them. If that happens, they will continue to go above and beyond. This isn’t brain science.
I don’t think it’s any surprise that I feel passionately about this subject but let’s be real, how difficult is recognition? Recognition does not need to be a big parade. In fact, many people would prefer that it is not. Small gestures go a long way. I’ve received numerous thank you cards for working on a project, or going above and beyond, and it makes a huge difference in how I feel about my work.
Many companies also have official recognition programs. We just revamped ours and it’s been really great. We have an annual program where we give out “excellence” awards. I really love it because everyone who is nominated is recognized but then the winners of the official awards also get recognized in a big way.
I personally want to know more about what organizations are doing around recognition – so what do you do? Let’s call this best practice sharing. The more I can learn, the better.
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