Don’t you love it when Recognition comes out “Just Right” ? With recognition and employee awards, there are many ways to goof. It usually comes from not really knowing your audience – or to be specific- not knowing what inspires the superstar employee that you want to recognize.
To make a recognition come out “Just Right” you must know
- What the person thinks of the work they did
- Whether they enjoy public recognition [i.e. team meeting] or would enjoy a short chat 1-1
- If the person you want to acknowledge, has a “world view” of the job / team /corporation
- When they started and completed the work that was outstanding
- The type of recognition that employees expect and desire
If you do not know these basics, then it is quite possible that your recognition may feel “off base” to the recipient. And worst of all, you may not ever know that you missed the boat unless you ask.
Always make sure to
- Find out the basic information
- Follow up your efforts with a personal call / touch base; make sure the intended recipient actually did receive your award!
- Ask for feedback about recognition from nominees, your group, your company, HR etc.
These simple steps allow you to make minor corrections to small problems and perform “damage control” on total disasters. You will keep lines of communication open and you’ll find out a lot about what your team wants. This is most important during lay-offs, office moving, staff changes, budget crunching, mandatory overtime, and other stressful work times.
The recognition you might have in mind is not for everyone! For example, many groups have Pizza Parties to say “Thanks” for overtime work. This is not the most healthy food, and with many people on restricted diets and more health conscious I have heard many moans from employees, “they are making us fat”, “I can’t eat this stuff”, “one more pizza and I’ll explode” . Yikes!! Obviously, this is not the happy team building event it could have been if the food is an obstacle rather than a reward. On the other hand, with a little innovation and planning, I’ve heard, “That was so great”, “what a wonderful surprise”, I really enjoyed that”…. you might think this was an expensive reward maybe a dinner out, righ? But no, this was the response I heard to a team building, docent guided museum tour. The team loved it and learned alot. The cost was zero in terms of dollars, and an hour of time per team member!
Be creative, it doesn’t have to be expensive or lengthy or complicated. In fact, your team will love your effort on their behalf, and the time you took to think of them if you can tailor the event to your group. I’ll be posting examples of recognition. And of course, you can do the same!
Reward your Super Stars!