Recognition nightmares and how to avoid them

Getting recognition for a job well done should be a great experience, here’s 3 ways it can go wrong and what you can do about it.

By: Sinead Healy on

Do we have a bottle of wine in the stationary cupboard?  Quick can someone go to the shop and buy a bottle of wine

I’m no wine connoisseur and I have drank many a bottle of cheap wine in my time, but nothing smacks more of ‘we gave this absolutely no thought at all’ than a £4.99 bottle of wine from the shop closest to the office.

Where have we got the notion that feeling appreciated must be accompanied with a £10 voucher for somewhere you never shop?  Think about the last time you felt really appreciated and valued?  Was it the money that was spent to demonstrate that? Or was the words & sentiment that made you feel good?

If you only have 5 minutes, spend it with a pen and a paper and write something genuine about the person and why you appreciate them so much.

URGENT!! Does anyone have any nominations for employee of the month? Star of the week? We’re announcing the winners at the meeting tomorrow

Employee of the week / month is a great intention.  Getting a group of managers organised enough to dedicate some time to recognise someone can never be a bad idea.  However, as the old adage goes ‘The trouble with trouble is it starts out as fun’   Then it becomes another job on the list to do and then recognition starts to feel like a chore and that’s not the right energy to really embed a culture of appreciation.

Instead of putting the entire onus on your leaders to come up with star of the month.  Put the power of recognition into everyone’s hands, so that recognition is peer to peer. Find a way of making this frequent and easy so that all you have to do at the end of the month is read through all the appreciation that’s been flowing around your business all month and pick out some highlights.

Trust me, after a while, you’ll have a lot more than 1 person feeling like a star for the month.

Awkward desk hovering by your bosses boss as they’ve obviously been told to come over and say well done

Awkward!  If there’s one emotion at work we just can’t cope with it’s awkward.  Our advice is to get the fire extinguisher and put that situation out! Put it out!

No seriously, it’s great to know that people who might have an impact on your future career in an organisation are appreciating your work. So if you’re a people leader and you’d like to get your boss involved in appreciating your team’s work without the awkward desk hovering , here’s some advice to pass on to your boss

  • Firstly, send an email and let whoever is being recognised know that you’re going to drop by.  Something along the lines of… “Hi, I’ve heard about some great work you’ve been doing and I want to come by and hear more about it”. 
  • Take them for a coffee or bring a coffee to their desk – having a purpose makes the interaction easier for both parties and taking a bit more time makes it more meaningful.
  • If you’re pressed for time, pull up a chair, in case we haven’t said it enough hoovering is not a good look, it says I can’t wait to get out of here.
  • Ask questions about the situation that’s being recognised, tell them what you’ve heard.
  • Follow up, let the person know you’d like to hear more about the project successes or the outcome.  That opens the door for showcasing more good work and builds relationships.

Recognition has the power to boost engagement, productivity and customer satisfaction.  Done well, it is a powerful motivator.  Bringing your company’s recognition practices into the 21st century is easier as it seems, as there are tools and companies who can support and offer expertise … like us

Watch our web-case below on how to build a recognition strategy.

Employee recognition Idea