What do you think of when you hear that term? Recognition is about acknowledging good results and reinforcing positive performance; it's about shaping an environment in which contributions are noticed and appreciated. And that's a responsibility shared by everyone!
These are the Top 10 excuses for not giving recognition:
- "I don't know how."
- "I don't have time."
- "People don't care about it all that much."
- "It's not MY job."
- "I don't believe in rewarding people for just doing their job!"
- "It becomes meaningless if done too much."
- "I'm very limited in what I can do."
- "Sometimes it's awkward and uncomfortable."
- "People will think they've 'made it' and stop working hard."
- "I don't get it. Why should I give it?"
In the coming months, recognition is going to be more important than ever. We need to understand that there are personal benefits to be gained by recognizing others; there IS something in it for each of us. We not only feel good by making others feel good, but we also improve our own lot by encouraging the positive attitudes and behaviors that eventually make life easier for us.
The following checklist is from Eric Harvey's handbook "180 Ways to Walk the Recognition Talk...The 'How To' Handbook for EVERYONE."
Make sure the recognition you provide is:
TIMELY: Don't wait. Give recognition as soon as possible after the good performance takes place. Praise tends to lose its effectiveness with the passing of time.
SPECIFIC: Tell the person exactly what they did that was good. A mere "nice job" really doesn't say all that much. Being specific lets the person know what behaviors to repeat in the future.
SINCERE: Insincere praise is usually worse than none at all. Be honest and open. Tell the person what their performance means to you personally.
INDIVIDUAL: Focus on individuals rather than groups. Fact is, not all team members contribute equally.
PERSONAL: Adjust the style and method of your recognition to the receiver. Some people like public praise, some prefer private discussions. Give "different strokes to different folks." Not sure what they prefer? Ask!
PROPORTIONAL: Match the amount and intensity of recognition to the achievement. Going overboard for small stuff will make people question your motives.
Excerpted with permission from the Iowa State Department of Personnel newsletter, "Directions", May, 2001.
Questions? Email Candace Peters or call 335-2260.