Recognizing valued employees is a powerful thing. Some people make it out to be something complex when in reality it isn’t. But when it happens and it is done well, it truly means a lot.
So, as you think about (and yes, start to actively recognize valued team members), here are a few helpful things to consider.
Leaders should intentionally ask their team members how they would like to be recognized. Recognizing someone should be a celebration and always be done with respect and consideration. Recognizing someone who doesn’t like attention and/or certain methods of recognition will only cause a break down in trust. Remember, recognizing people is all about celebrating them and building a relationship. Foster and motivate professional relationships rather than destroy and disengage.
Make certain everyone clearly knows what constitutes being recognized. When people know the expectations, they know how to play. In addition to any organizational recognition opportunities, we all have an opportunity to recognize someone we appreciate!
Like anything, too much of a good thing can get stale. You need to freshen things up! The same concept applies to how you recognize people on your team. If you have been “doing the same old thing” when you recognize team members, do something different! (As long as you know it falls in line with things they would appreciate and not embarrass them.) If you are known for always taking people “out for coffee”, write them a note. If you are known for “decorating someone’s office with balloons and streamers”, get them a small memento for their office. Keep them guessing. It makes recognizing people more fun!
Acknowledge and Validate
When we recognize a valued team member, that action is all about acknowledging and validating their efforts. Let’s say you have a team member who is always pitching in and helping out with projects, staying late, and always getting their work done on time. You’ve decided that it is time to recognize them so you do <insert whatever it is>. When it comes time to deliver the award, try saying something like this.
I want to give you <insert whatever it is> as an appreciation for your work
because <state the reason why>.
Your team member will be laser-focused on what comes after the why. That’s where the meaning is. That is where you get to show your appreciation and recognition for their efforts. Without the why, meaning the reasons why you are recognizing them, the action is empty.
It doesn’t need to be some long, drawn-out interaction. You can simply get in and get out. But make the interaction meaningful…for you and your team member.
We had a good discussion on my Facebook Live about this topic including several strategies for recognizing our team members.
You can view the video here: https://www.facebook.com/johnneralcoaching/videos/2114339585467162/
Being able to recognize valued employees is a key way you can “show up” and lead.