3 Tips for Recognizing Employees the Right Way

In grade school, earning that bright “Terrific!” sticker on a book report was good — but getting actual personalized praise from your teacher was so much better. The same holds true for recognition in the workplace.

When you want to recognize your employees and coworkers, being personal, specific and sincere means more than a simple pat on the back. If your organization is going to spend the time, money, and resources to recognize high-performing employees, then make the effort to do it right. Start by using these three simple tips:

1. BE PERSONAL: Ask, note, and follow through on employee recognition preferences. Some people are uncomfortable being brought up before their peers and prefer one on one praise. Knowing how your employees and coworkers want to receive praise is a huge aspect of effective recognition.

2. BE SPECIFIC: Recognition comes in many forms — ranging from a simple “Great job” to highly-specific appreciation, such as “Excellent work on the launch of the new accounting system – especially the way it will make things easier for our mid-sized vendors.” The latter, more specific approach goes a lot farther than a verbal high-five.

3. BE SINCERE: Finally, sincere and targeted recognition is much more than a check-the-box exercise — it is an important part of caring for your employees. Forced, generic emails with “praise for the team” don’t qualify as genuine employee recognition.

When it comes to recognizing good work, some things don’t change, and a little appreciation in company culture still goes a long way.