The Power of Recognition

I was asked recently what I thought was the most valuable skill a manager could learn, and I replied, they should be able to clearly communicate their expectations.  The more I thought about my answer, the more I realized that was only half of the skill.  The other half comes from acknowledging to the other person when they have met the expectation.

Being thankful for the blessings we have should be thought about more often than just at Thanksgiving.  Even in this time of economic woe, we should strive to find things we are grateful for in our lives.  If you are a manager, one of the things that make you successful and employed is your staff and their hard work.

I have trained a lot of management development workshops over the years, and the one that most managers struggle with is recognition.  What do I buy?  What do I give them?  How do I show them they are vital to our success?  I used to say that the reward is not as important as the recognition.  That the effort of saying thank you can be a very powerful motivator if done correctly and when an employee hasn’t heard any kudos in a while, you might just be the one to make their day.

Most employee opinions surveys reveal that employees not only crave appreciation, they will seek it out by walking out the door if they don’t get enough appreciation.  Maybe now people are staying in an unappreciative environment because jobs are scarce, but if the environment hasn’t changed when the economy picks up, they will be the first to walk.

So stop trying to figure out what to buy your employees to show your appreciation, start spending time with them more, and pass out the kudos more often.  Watch the change in their work ethics, loyalty and overall job satisfaction.  And if you happen to be an employee with a manager that doesn’t appreciate you, then forward them a link to this blog.


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