When and How to Give Recognition

When to Give Recognition:

  • There’s an extra heavy workload
  • Someone has done an exceptional job on one or more projects
  • Someone has achieved a new level of personal development (i.e. finishing a class)
  • An employee has given a suggestion that improves the effectiveness of the office
  • An employee or the organization has a birthday or anniversary
  • An employee advances or is promoted
  • The employees in your area have worked together as a team to accomplish a project successfully.

How to Give Recognition: Remember to be…

Timely: Don’t wait. Give recognition as soon as possible after the good performance takes place. Praise tends to loose the effectiveness with the passing of time.

Specific: Tell the person exactly what they did that was good. A mere “nice job” really doesn’t say all that much. Being specific lets the person know what behaviors to repeat in the future.
Sincere: Insincere praise is usually worse than none at all. Be honest and open. Tell the person what their performance means to you personally.
Personal: Adjust the style and method of your recognition to the receiver. Some people like public praise, some prefer private discussions. Give “different strokes to different folks.” Not sure what they prefer? Ask!
Individual: Focus on individuals rather than groups. Fact is, not all team members contribute equally.
Proportional: Match the amount and intensity of recognition to the achievement. Going overboard for small stuff will make people question your motives.

Information in this section was taken from:

Nelson, B. (1994). 1001 Ways to Reward Employees. New York, NY: Workman Publishing.