Want to find out how to recognize someone at work? Well, first of all, you can’t just say something so bland like “You are an awesome employee!” and expect to receive a round of applause and win boss of the year.
In order to work effectively, you have to recognize someone in real-time and make it personalized. According to the employee engagement expert Margy Bresslour, engaged employees are crucial to the prosperity of any organization. Engagement strategies don’t work if they are created with the hope of receiving something in exchange. As a result, its true purpose and lack of honesty eventually come out. In fact, she believes that these strategies most likely will worsen the problem of disengaged employees.
How hard is it to recognize people when they do good work? It’s easy. Erika Andersen gave us a simple example to illustrate this:
“Think about the last time you said something kind to your kid or your spouse; like ‘thanks for taking out the trash’. Employees need exactly the same thing, and it’s that simple.”
Therefore, recognition at work has to become a natural part of a successful leader. Organizations need to help leaders understand the impact that recognizing a colleague or an employee can have on the business. Furthermore, it’s important that recognition is consistent and honest. Everyone in the organization has to be accountable for recognizing each other, particularly managers.
“we should worry every day we fail to recognize someone. This is not some kind of soft mushy thing it is about being human. The bottom line is not the bottom, it is supported by the work of all in the organization.”
Recognition at work is not a ‘nice to have’ anymore, it is a real need. Building a continuous feedback culture, through real-time recognition launches your firm into the ‘most attractive companies to work at galaxy’ faster than the speed of light. Right… maybe not so far, but flat recognition in the workplace has a tremendous impact on the business. Josh Bersin presented us with a real case of successful employee recognition: JetBlue. They implemented a peer-to-peer recognition software strategy focused on company values. The result? Employee satisfaction grew by 88%. The science behind it has to do with oxytocin, known as the “love chemical”, a hormone that is released when you appreciate or recognize someone. This hormone makes us feel more content, carefree and collaborative, thus satisfaction increases.
Here are 4 simple but essential tips on how you can recognize someone at work:
1. Say why they matter and why their work matters
From all the research we did, we found this tip in every single article. Turns out it is extremely important to state specifically what you are recognizing people about. What exactly did they do? Why and how did it matter? It is vital to be specific because it identifies and reinforces the desired behavior. People feel the most valued when it’s sincere and attached to a specific performance or good outcome. Explain how the behavior made you feel. Point out the value added to the team or organization by the behavior. Susan Mazza believes that everyone who performs deserves recognition and their behavior and its results deserve reinforcement.
2. Go beyond the “good job everyone”
In order to recognize someone, say thank you often, in a specific and individual way. The more specific you are about what you’re appreciating or recognizing the better. It makes the recognition a lot more significant and the people that were recognized are more likely to sustain that practice in the future. The key is: get to know who people are, not just what they do. Know your people as individuals. Patti Johnson taught us that motivation is different for everyone, so understand the differences – no one size fits all!
3. Recognize in real-time
The times that we are living in are the most digital it has ever been. Thanks to that, we expect everything to happen not just fast, but in real-time. Employees require the same approach when it comes to recognizing their contributions within the workplace. Recognition in real-time is not only important for employees but also for Human Resources and Team Leaders. They are able to obtain real-time data and see which values are being the most endorsed.
Recognize your employees at the moment things happen. When it’s out of context it doesn’t have the same impact. By recognizing them in real time, you are able to make sure that person will remember your action and why their contribution was good.
4. Design a human-centered culture
Finally, our last tip relies upon designing a human-centered culture. A human-centered culture embraces a mission and a vision that employees understand and believe in. This is crucial if you want your employees to feel stimulated and accomplished. Ben Callahan showed that valuable collaboration is at the core of a human-centered culture. The diversity in perspective and empathy are extremely relevant to achieve an ease of collaboration. Hence it’s necessary to give sincere acknowledgments for a good work. In such a culture, people feel cared for, experience growth opportunities, and develop trust.
Cultures based on human-centered models are a win-win for both the individual and the organization. A culture that’s inclusive connects the company’s mission and values to people and team performance. Recognition based on behaviors you want to reinforce strengthens corporate values and retention.
Tap My Back is an employee feedback app that provides a peer to peer recognition software. That way, we help companies work on employee recognition while improving engagement. With our recognition feature, anyone within your organization can recognize another person based on your company values. Like so, they are reinforcing the company’s values, behaviors and giving recognition in an individual and specific way.