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How to Recognize Someone at Work

Want to find out how to recognize someone at work? Well, first of all, you can’t just say something bland like “You are an awesome employee!” and expect to receive a round of applause and win a boss of the year award.

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, the true purpose and lack of honesty eventually come out. Bresslour believes that these strategies most likely will worsen the problem of disengaged employees.

Recognize someone

How hard is it to recognize people when they do good work? Not at all! 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 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, recognition must be consistent and honest. Everyone in the organization should be accountable for recognizing each other, particularly managers.

As David Zinger said,

“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 only nice to have, but it is also a real need. There are so many types of recognition that can be implemented in a workplace. Building a continuous feedback culture, through real-time recognition launches your firm into a category of more attractive companies to work at faster than the speed of light. Recognition in the workplace has a tremendous impact on the business. Josh Bersin presented us with a real case of successful employee recognition at 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.

4 simple but essential tips on how you can recognize your employees:

 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 recognition is sincere and attached to a specific performance or good outcome. Employees respond to recognition of their behavior, but more importantly, how their actions add value to the team or organization. Susan Mazza believes that everyone who performs well deserves recognition for their behavior and its results.

2. Go beyond the “good job everyone”

To recognize someone, say thank you often, and do so 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 who were recognized are more likely to sustain that practice in the future. The key is to 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 can obtain real-time data and see which values are 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 can make sure that person will remember your action and why their contribution was good.

4. Design a human-centered culture

Recognize - Human-centered culture

Finally, our last tip relies on designing a human-centered culture. This culture embraces a mission and 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 achieving ease of collaboration. Hence why it is necessary to give sincere acknowledgements for 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. An inclusive culture 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

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. As so, they are reinforcing the company’s values and behaviors, as well as giving recognition in an individual and specific way.

Find out more about how you can try our free employee recognition tool!

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