Recognizing Employees and Colleagues

We all need to know that we are valued. One simple expression such as "Nice job" or "Way to go" can make our day. Recognizing employees and colleagues is not just a nice thing to do—it is an effective way to communicate your appreciation for the efforts and successes of others, while reinforcing those actions and behaviors that make a difference in your organization.

There are simple things we can all do to acknowledge, support, and encourage others to perform at their best.

• Set clear standards. People should know what’s important to their organization and what the common values are. Your employees should all know what counts in your workplace.

• Expect the best. Your standards should be standards of excellence. Remember that you will often get what you ask for. When you believe in others, your belief in them can yield surprising accomplishments.

• Be specific. Pay attention and when you catch someone doing things right, recognize those specific achievements and their impact on the organization.

• Think personal. Recognition should be special and fit the individual you are acknowledging.

• It’s about everyone. Stories of corporate glory and success move us, inspire us, and make up the fabric of our organizations. When we recognize an employee and share that with everyone, we motivate not only one person but those around them as well. Recognition is after all about not only the individual but what he or she has contributed to the whole organization.

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

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