A Recipe for Recognition

There is nothing worse than giving it your all at work and not receiving any sort of acknowledgement for your efforts. According to a study by CareerBuilder, 40% of employees who don’t feel meaningfully recognized will not go above and beyond their formal responsibilities. That said, 24% of employees say they appreciate recognition that comes from a high-level leader or CEO shortly after they have achieved a milestone or completed a work-related goal.

The best managers promote a recognition-rich environment, with praise coming from every direction and everyone aware of how others like to receive appreciation. This type of employee feedback should be frequent and timely to ensure that the employee knows the significance of the recent achievement and to reinforce company values.

How do you cook up a recognition program that is based on spontaneity that will not wrack your brain trying to come up with recognition ideas? Further, how do you recognize staff members in a genuine way that does not feel routine or forced? By developing a planned spontaneous recognition program that your management team can make a regular part of your day to day business activities, that’s how!

Planned spontaneity is a spin-off of typical on-the-spot recognition practices, but without the stress of scrambling to come up with who to recognize and why. With a plan in place, you are able to implement a program that spreads recognition throughout the staff and takes notice of day-to-day achievements without seeming impersonal or rehearsed.

Ready increase employee engagement and create a happier workplace? Want a recognition program that is fun and simple to implement? Then follow our recipe for recognition:

You will need:

  • 3x5-Index Cards
  • Marker or Ink Pen
  • List of Employee Names
  • Observation Skills

Get Started:

  1. Using a marker or ink pen, write the name of every employee on the unlined side of a 3x5-index card. There should be one card per employee.
  2. Shuffle the batch of cards together in no particular order. If you prefer a more organized method, sort the batch of cards alphabetically.
  3. At the start of each workday, select three to four cards off the top of your deck. No cheating. Once you have pulled cards from the deck, you’ll recognize these employees.
  4. Using your observation skills, recall something each person did that deserves recognition.
  5. At varying times of the day, walk up to individuals and give recognition. You might say, “I want to thank you for ________.” or, “I wanted to let you know that your contributions helped the company by __________.” Be sincere. Made-up compliments sound phony. Find behaviors you truly appreciate about each employee.
  6. After giving “spontaneous” recognition to the employees selected from your deck, put the cards at the back of your deck to await their next “Planned Spontaneous Recognition.”
  7. Repeat each day until all employees are recognized. Continue this method each month.

Serving Suggestions:

Try to recognize each person in your organization at least one time per month. To make your recognition feel more spontaneous, do not inform your employees of your plan. Leave the index cards in your office before you approach the employees you are recognizing. Be sure to be genuine in your delivery of praise. If you know you have an employee who doesn’t like to be called out in front of their peers, consider writing them a personal memo or thank you card.

Other ways to recognize employees might be to give special rewards such as gifts, plaques, trophies, and other prizes. To recognize your entire staff and thank them for being such a great team, plan an activity that allows them to step away from their desks and have a little fun.

Pro Tip: As you see employees engaged in behaviors you want to recognize later, use the lined side of their index card to jot down your notes. Be sure to include the date that you observed them doing the action you will recognize them for when their card is pulled from the top of the deck later.

Ready to get started with a formal recognition program? Download our Recognition Resolutions Guide for program ideas you can use throughout the year.

Customer Appreciation