I play basketball on Monday nights, and this season theBasketball Association has wisely been training new referees. It’s a tough job sorting out the Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry wannabes, (or in my case Michael Jordan); when just the split second blow of a whistle makes you the best guy OR the worst guy ever. Recently, we finished a game and our team made sure we thanked not just the Umpire in training but also the Umpire training him. Even more recently the same seventeen year old trainee took responsibility for another of our games and in just a few short weeks had made obvious improvements. Again, our team took the time to recognise his courage and his progress. The appreciation on both their faces was totally worth it. Recognition matters.
Recognition matters because it means you’re being noticed for all the right reasons. Recognition says “I see you.” It paves the way for leaders to remind everyone of the why, what and how of your organisation. Recognition sets up celebration. It creates the opportunity to purposefully appreciate the work people do, the contribution they make and the results that are created. Leaders can point to this and say “This is what we are about and you made it happen.”
Marcel Schwantes writes in Inc that what people most want but don’t often get is to be “recognised for their individual contribution”. He is supported by the Gallup Study that says the highest levels of engagement come from organisations where recognition and praise are a consistent and authentic part of the culture.
Recognition is easier than you think. It can be done in seconds when you see it applied on these three levels:
- Personal: You and I are the only ones that know.
- Private: Our team share the opportunity.
- Public: We invite and allow everyone to participate
There are also three ways to implement recognition:
- Hi Tech: Using technology to send the message.
- Hybrid: Handwriting something or sharing in a smaller group.
- Low Tech: Focusing more on individual and group conversations.
The Gift Of Recognition – Master Model
Practical Ways To Recognise Individual Contribution
Recognition isn’t just in words alone. In his insightful work on the Five Love Languages Gary Chapman talks about the core ways we like to give and receive love. They are:
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
- Words of Appreciation
- Acts of Service
- Gifts of Appreciation
In the next 30 days, I challenge you to act out of wisdom when applying these five ways to show appreciation and nine ways to show recognition with your work based teams. Do one of these for one person today. Recognition matters.
This is for leaders. I am for leaders.