When was the last time you told someone how much you appreciate:
- Their attention to detail on a proposal they helped you complete?
- The great presentation they gave at an all-hands meeting?
- The energy they bring to the team meetings?
- Their relentless focus on personal development?
Think of the last time someone told you how much they appreciated your work, or how much they appreciated you. How did that moment of recognition make you feel? Imagine what would happen if everybody did that for their colleagues on a regular basis. This happens in a high-performance culture.
Our research shows that effective recognition is more powerful than giving people money. Think about that. Giving recognition feels good, takes no time and costs nothing. Yet the majority of people we survey say they are not getting recognition on a regular basis. Providing recognition is a core skill that everybody should seek to hone. The results are profound when people are providing recognition across the organization. Recognition reinforces great behaviour and boosts morale during challenging situations.
Here are four simple elements to offering effective recognition.
1. Do it quickly and often.
One of the biggest opportunities to boost your team’s level of engagement is to catch them doing something right. When you experience great behaviour within your team, catch it in the moment and deliver the recognition right away. I encourage my coaching clients to try to give frequent recognition, at least times a week. Noticing these moments is a skill. Over time, with deliberate practice, you will notice multiple recognition opportunities each day.
2. The medium matters.
Be mindful of who, what, when, and where you are offering recognition. Some people do not like being thrust into the spotlight during a large meeting, and would prefer to receive recognition in private. Others thrive on the publicity and enjoy the visibility of Slack or Teams broadcast announcements that give colleagues a chance to react (perhaps with custom emojis). When you give public recognition, it is especially important to make sure you include the key people who were significantly involved in the win. We don’t want people to miss people or recognize those who really didn’t contribute.
3. Keep it simple.
A win doesn’t have to be as big as closing a new deal or launching a Leadership Development eLearning platform. Wins can be simple acts of kindness or valuable consistency that often go unrecognized. Mentioning these during a team meeting and acknowledging your colleague will ensure they feel appreciated and likely encourage them to continue doing things they didn’t realize had a positive effect on others.
4. Incorporate your values.
The best way to increase the impact of your recognition is to tie each win to your organization’s values. When giving recognition, explain how their specific actions demonstrate a great way to live organizational values, setting an example for the rest of the team. This will inspire others, reinforce your core cultural elements and people connect their day-to-day successes to a higher purpose.
Simple yet powerful
Now it’s your turn. Who on your team has recently done something that you would like to recognize? Perhaps is it a direct report? a colleague? your manager? How would it make them feel if you provided that recognition immediately after reading this post?
Giving recognition is the easiest thing you can do to boost engagement on the entire team. With the High-Performance Index™ we have witnessed leaders who have completely transformed their HPI scores, solely by focusing on providing more frequent recognition to their team. Recognition is something that everyone can do, as it boosts the morale of the entire team, not just the individual giving or receiving the recognition. Once you start, the rest will follow.