Here are a few examples of what not to do when it comes to recognising workers for jobs well done.
When you give it your all for a particular campaign or project and those efforts pay off, it's more than just nice to be recognised for your hard work - it's everything. From a simple "thank you" to a company-wide email where you and your performance is referenced, everyone appreciates being appreciated. More companies throughout the world are going to greater lengths to ensure that their employees are appropriately rewarded and regarded for their hard work.
Yet as a manager who is charged with overseeing staff, there's a right way and a wrong way of going about acknowledging personnel for their stellar performance. Here are a few examples of what not to do when it comes to recognising workers for jobs well done:
1. Crediting yourself along with the employee
As noted by Forbes contributors David Sturt and Todd Nordstrom of the O.C. Tanner Institute, it's often bad form to reference yourself as as being responsible for the success of a particular project, especially when the announcement is meant to be for another team member or members. You may have participated in the effort, but calling out your own name can come across as self-centered and may take away from the purpose of giving credit where credit is due.
2. Using the same recognition strategy for everyone
While it's always better to recognise someone for their hard work than not, it can be easy to fall into the same way of showing your thanks. For example, firing off a company-wide email about the achievements of a star employee is a fine thing to do, but if you do it too often, it takes away from the specialness of the attribution. If at all possible, try to mix up the manner in which you call out star staffers, whether that's with certain perks and benefits from the company or something more interpersonal, like a simple handshake.
3. Waiting too long
As the old saying goes, timing is everything, and that's especially true when it comes to lauding praise. In many ways, employee recognition is a lot like sending thank-you letters; it's something that should be done shortly after a particular even has taken place. It's important to show appreciation within no more than days of the success because that's usually when workers' emotions are the most raw and at the surface. Going weeks or months can make the recognition almost seem like an afterthought.
4. Applying a one-size-fits-all recognition method
A core component of working as a manager - or in any supervisory position - is knowing who your workers are and what makes them tick. By getting to know each of them on an individual level, you'll discover that the manner in which they like to be shown gratitude differs for virtually all of them. Thus, making mention of someone who did well at the beginning of a company meeting may be the highest form of flattery for one person, but it may make the next person feel embarrassed or too on the spot. In short, as Sturt and Nordstrom advised, it's important to know your audience before offering praise.
5. Overdoing it
While it's generally better to praise someone than to not, there is such a thing as going overboard with recognition. For example, if an employee really nailed a particular assignment or landed a high value client, it's perfectly acceptable to recognise their impressive achievements, but once you've done so, it's best not to repeat it over and over again, as this can come across as over the top or excessively congratulatory. It may ultimately lead to resentment among other workers who may wonder why they didn't receive the same degree of praise.
Avoiding these common employee recognition faux pas can help keep your team on the same page and fully engaged. Request a demo!