Most people understand the value of recognition, but admit they don’t recognize enough. Either everything you see looks great and you don’t know where to start, OR everything looks like someone “just doing their job” and doesn’t seem like a big enough deal. But, here’s the twist: If we wait for the "knock-us-off-our-seat" examples of recognition to happen, we aren't building a culture of recognition and appreciation that can have a big impact on achieving business goals and results.
Here are some questions to ask when you haven’t recognized in a while and need a jump start:
- Who delivers on our values?
- Who goes above and beyond?
- Who helps me get my job done?
- Who, in another department, makes the work in my department easier?
- What do I wish was done more? And who does that thing?
Let’s explore that last question. "What do I wish was done more" starts with the action we want to see rather than the person themselves. Here are some examples:
I wish people would be more patient with frustrated customers, so I wrote this:
“Thanks to Bill who got a call from a very frustrated customer yesterday and handled it like a champ. He was patient and empathetic while they yelled, allowing them time to calm down. When they were feeling more listened to, he recommended some next steps that made them feel much better. They even thanked him for listening! Thanks for your focus on the customer experience, Bill. If you hadn’t taken the time to let the customer share (yell) their frustrations, I don’t think they would have come around so quickly in the end!”
I have noticed fewer people are paying attention to the deadline for expenses, so I wrote this:
“Thanks to Imani who is always so consistent with turning in her expenses by Tuesday. I know her schedule can be unpredictable, but she does what she can to meet the deadline. Her attention to the schedule allows me the time I need to go over the number in detail and still submit the financials on time. Thanks for making my job easier, Imani!”
By focusing on what is working, rather than just focusing on what isn’t, these recognitions remind your coworkers of actions that are important to you in your job.
See also: VIDEO: What to Recognize (2:03 minutes)