Be Authentic & Genuine While Giving Recognition
Recognition isn’t the same as appreciation.
While your organization might have instituted employee recognition programs, these efforts can seem inauthentic or disingenuous if not executed properly. There are a myriad of reasons for why your employee recognition initiatives convey to staff members that you’re just going through the motions, instead of genuinely demonstrating your appreciation.
Recognizing employees with certificates, awards, and gifts is a great start to communicating your appreciation. However, appreciation goes one step beyond simply acknowledging workers because some HR initiative mandates that you do so. To communicate genuine, authentic appreciation, employee recognition efforts have to be timely and personal.
A few days after announcing the latest employee of the month, Tom lands a major client for your business. In this scenario, waiting until it is once again time to name a new employee of the month would be far too late to demonstrate your appreciation to Tom. Instead, this employee should be recognized immediately for his outstanding work, even though the employee recognition program that your business has instituted is only conducted on a monthly basis.
Employees want to feel appreciated and valued in real time.
Your staff isn’t sitting around with their fingers crossed hoping that their name will be called when it’s time to announce the employee of the month. Every day they come into work and perform their duties. They want recognition regularly, rather than when it’s been scheduled by management and the human resources department.
If someone does an outstanding job today, take a few minutes to discuss their work and say “thank you.”
“Most of us tend to communicate appreciation to others through the actions that we value – like giving a verbal compliment or sending an email,” noted Dr. White. “But not everyone feels appreciated in the same ways.
Some people appreciate words of affirmation, while others are encouraged when someone helps them with a task.”
When communicating your appreciation to a staff member, are you recognizing them the way they want to be recognized or are you recognizing them the way you think they want to be recognized? You spend at least forty hours per week with these people. To authentically demonstrate appreciation to them, you have to know them. You have to understand what they want and how they work. That’s the responsibility of any manager or boss, regardless of industry or business size.
Authentic and genuine appreciation goes beyond standard employee recognition programs, and requires management to have a solid grasp on who their employees are and how they operate. Yes, these efforts demand a bit more thought and attention than a boring old employee of the month program but the work is worth it when you observe the positive response from your staff.