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Recognition Zeroes: How NOT to “Recognize” Your Employees

April 16, 2014 by  

In the following article, I’d like to highlight some common mistakes that managers make when attempting to engage, motivate and recognize their employees. Some of these errors in judgment may be more obvious than others, but I hope that all of the examples below will enlighten managers on what they should avoid and what they should focus upon when recognizing employees.

Don’t wait until your employees’ annual performance review to give them feedback. The more feedback you give your employees, and the more often you give it, the better able they are to respond to the needs of your organization.

Don’t leave your employees in the dark. Help them to help you, and your organization, by setting goals and then by working with them to achieve those goals.

Don’t be a stick in the mud. Have some fun. Joke with your employees. Be playful.

Don’t wait until the last second to prepare a speech (or toast) for an employee. Set aside some time in your day, even if it’s only 10 minutes, to give some careful thought to the individual.

Don’t be vague about your recognition speech. In your speech, pinpoint some specific reasons this employee should be recognized.

Don’t leave your cell phone on when you’re about to give a presentation or speak to an employee one-on-one. This may seem like a no-brainer, but I’ve seen it happen time and time again.

Don’t be cheap. Make your years of service anniversary program meaningful, useful and good. If you’re providing your 5-year employees with an award that is valued at $10, what does that say about how much your organization appreciates its employees?

Don’t be so busy that you can’t take a minute or two to recognize your employees’ achievements. The most effective reward, which is personal and written recognition from one’s manager, doesn’t cost anything and doesn’t take much time either. Your employees’ morale, performance, and loyalty will surely improve as a result.

Don’t be a “Recognition Zero.” When employers recognize good performance by their employees, chances are they will see that good performance again. Do the right things and your employees will continue to perform, and your organization will continue to thrive.


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