I was out shopping with family the other day. A dad with one small kid in tow kept saying: “Great job pushing the Shopping cart, Rohit, you are awesome. It went on and on – If the kid did something good dad responded with a positive affirmation. It was awesome to see the glow on the child’s face feeling very happy that he is being recognized for his deeds. It is a fact, positive reinforcement does work wonders. Don’t all of us love being recognized for the good work that we are doing?
In an organization as well, Recognitionhelps build the foundation of a culture of ‘trust’, in a unique way. It gives a sense of purpose to your colleague when you appreciate and recognize his good work publicly. The particular ‘feel good’ factor is in our nature as human beings and this is what drives us to fulfillment. Employees become more responsible and take accountability of their actions. Successful ideas survive because everyone has a stake in them. Communication and open-minded appreciation are the keys to a successful collaboration.
You are awesome. You rock. Nice job. And it goes on: praise people for doing the right. People expect to be rewarded, which makes the job of an HR or a leader difficult one indeed. However, it shoots a very important question to us, how to score above the recognition quotient?
In organization, recognition and financial rewards are joined at the hip. Financial reward is a great thing, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not the equivalent of recognition. Let’s not kid ourselves. It’s a short-term solution. Each employee is different and so are their needs and expectations. It’s important to inspire each one of them to keep them adding on to the business with their extra time, brainpower and effort. Neither is constant praise for average work. Recognition is a key tool in employee retention programs for a reason: people need more than constructive feedback and positive affirmation. They need recognition of the extra effort. They need to “feel” it. This will never go away as a basic human need. Most of the companies who have won the reputation as the ‘best employers’ are those who have been able to tap on the inspiration quotient of their employees.
An effective approach to employee recognition are the following points:
1) Right now, in the moment – As much as possible, be timely. Timely recognition works wonders.
2) Contextually correct –What are you appreciating for? Recognition is most effective when it’s given in the context of a larger goal or business-results-focused activity.
3) Appropriate Volume – Think back to the Dad in the market. Was the praise being appropriate in volume? Not really. Randomness is not your ally. Recognition should match effort and results, or it loses its sheen.
I have many thoughts about how we, as a society and as organizations handle the topic of recognition. When was the last time, you recognized someone in your team for their good work? . Maybe it is time you did. You will quickly realize the benefits of it and would want to do more of it very soon.
I’d love to hear what’s on your mind as well. Jump. Leaders jump in here too. Lead the revolution. You all are just awesome.