Recognizing Employees

We all need to know that we are valued. One "Nice job!" or "Atta girl!" or "Way to go!" can make an employee’s day…and how easy is that? Even so, many small-business owners tend to fall short when it comes to recognizing others’ efforts. Here are some simple things we can do to change that:

• Set clear standards. People should know what is important to their organization and to their own success.

• Expect the best. You will often get what you ask; set the bar high.

• Be specific. Pay attention, and when you "catch someone doing something right," recognize the significance of those specific acts.

• Think personal. Recognition should be special and specifically about the person you are acknowledging.

• Tell others. When you recognize an employee, share the good news. Recognition is, after all, not only about the individual in question, but also about what they have contributed to the whole.

• Set an example. Think about what you can do to ensure that those who work with you are understood, affirmed, validated, and appreciated.

As a small-business owner, recognizing employees is not simply a nice thing to do. It is an effective way to communicate your appreciation for the efforts and successes of others, while also reinforcing those actions and behaviors that make a difference in your organization.

Mallary Tytel President and Founder Healthy Workplaces Sioux Falls, S.D.

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