Recognizing Well

Shawnee Love   •  
June 29, 2017

I have blogged many times over the years on the positive impacts of recognizing staff on culture, trust, and employee retention.  Today I’d like to point out that recognition is another effective way for managers to increase wellness and resiliency among employees, making this blog #7 in our series on increasing employee mental health.

I suspect, if you are still reading this blog, you probably buy in to the power of recognition already.  However, there’s a leap to be made between believing in something and doing something about it.  That’s why instead of singing recognition’s praises in this blog, I think it is more practical to share how to do recognition well.

Most importantly, be generous with recognition.give thanks  word abstract in wood type

Don’t reserve your thanks for grandiose achievements. Recognize and appreciate your people for anything you want to see more of: more teamwork, more smiles, more ideas, more effort, more sharing, etc.

Recognition is great for acknowledging progress or improvements and contributions of any kind and the more you recognize, the more you are likely to get.

Beyond being generous with thank yous, here are 4 other tips for good praise:

  1. Be timely– Deliver your thanks as close to the moment it was earned as possible.  Next week, month or next year don’t have the same effect.
  2. Be sincere– Give thanks for something you are truly thankful for.  People can tell if you are going through the motions.
  3. Be specific– Identify what exactly you appreciate AND why.  “Great job” doesn’t feel half as good as “You did a great job on the Nelson account.  I especially liked how you handled the client’s questions relating to implementation. You put their minds at ease and gave them confidence in the process and our team.  Thank you“.  Can you feel the difference?
  4. Be prepared– Giving praise well takes thought and practice:
    1. Thought to notice the specific aspects which are praiseworthy, and
    2. Practice to get the words right so they fit you, the praise recipient and the situation.  Running through what you will say a few times in your head or even writing it down and reading it back will give you a chance to quality check your thanks and help praise come across as intended.

Recognition supports employee wellness because being appreciated increases employees feelings of self worth and confidence.  Feeling confident and valued also enables people to do their best work and be their best while at work which becomes a self fulfilling prophesy.

I feel good so I do good which causes me to feel good and so on…

Try out these tips and see what impact effective recognition has in your environment.  Then, please comment to share your experiences.