Recognizing someone for their performance in the wrong way is almost worse than not recognizing them at all.  Ensure you succeed at providing proper recognition by following these guidelines.  Find out what type of recognition each employee desires:

  • public praise
  • private praise
  • formal rewards
  • financial bonuses
  • a promotion/extra responsibility
  • quality time with a mentor
  • investment in their education – courses and training
  • time off

Besides the actual form of recognition, everyone desires to feel respected as well, but in different ways.  Some people most want to feel important, others – powerful, others – intelligent and others – valued.  Ask your employees what kind of recognition they seek and how they most desire to feel so that you know.  

Now that you have asked your employees what they desire, it is paramount that you are clear about what you are looking for out of their individual and group performance.

What is most important?  What behaviours do you most value?  What specific type of performance will you reward?

How is the reward system based?  What are everyone’s individual roles and goals?  Spell it out.

It is key that people know how to go about impressing you.  They must understand what a “10 out of 10” looks like to you.  The clearer the rules of engagement, the more confident everyone will be to perform at their best.

employee engagement

employee engagement

Recognize Performance like an expert.  Double check to ensure that you are recognizing the right parties (every time) and then follow these six vital rules:

1.  Be timely

You get one chance to provide recognition to someone who deserves praise for a job well done.  The first second you see them, you must recognize the accomplishment, otherwise they will feel as though their efforts go unnoticed, even if the praise comes later.

2.  Be specific

When you are giving praise be extremely specific about what was done well.  The amount of detailed effort that goes into even small accomplishments feels worth it when it is noticed in detail.

3.  Be sincere

Be honest.  Do not over do anything.  Be authentic, be accurate and be present while you give out praise.  Speak simply and appreciatively, (it doesn’t hurt to smile) and ensure that whomever is on the receiving end feels recognized. 

4.  Be prepared

Take the time to plan to ensure you make the kind of impact you intend to.  Know exactly what you want to recognize the individual for, and what you want to say.

Consider if there is anyone else that should be there as well to witness or also receive some praise – team members or support staff perhaps? (if its appropriate) as an audience usually increases the impact.

5.  Be clear

Clearly communicate what you are rewarding.  Which task that was accomplished, goal that was hit or solution that was found that needs to be defined as the cause for the reward you are providing. When you are rewarding behaviours, be clear about which behaviours you are rewarding and why those behaviours are valued.

6.  Be appropriate

Reward and recognize in appropriate measure to each accomplishment.  Provide too little and you will deflate the individual and perhaps your entire team.  Provide too much and you will reduce productivity causing dissension amongst your team and confusing future performance expectations.

Be an expert at providing recognition and watch the revolution of employee engagement occur.