Peer Recognition

The Importance of 360-Degree Recognition

If you have a boss, mark Thursday, October 16 on your calendar. It’s National Boss Day – also known as Bosses or Boss’s Day, depending on whom you ask. This is a time to honour those men and women who supervise others.

It also reminds us that everyone – including your boss –needs and likely deserves to be acknowledged for the job she does. In the words of the American industrialist Charles Schwab, “I have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do bet.ter work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism.”

Staff recognition is frequently thought of as if it was water, that can only trickle down the managerial hier.archy. Boss Day is an opportunity to do something to pump recognition upward within the organizational structure. Take time to let your boss know that you appreciate her for what she does.

“Boss, thank you for purchasing that new comput.er program. It has made my job much easier and I can produce reports for clients more quickly.”

“Boss, thank you for adjusting my schedule so I can come in later. I really appreciate being able to be at home with my son until he leaves for school.”

“Boss, thank you for sitting down to talk to me about my goals. It is great to know the company is willing to help me advance my career.”

What staff recognition needs is the equivalent of 360-degree appraisal systems, in which feedback is sought from people at different levels of the organiza.tion. This is often illustrated with a diagram that shows arrows representing feedback from managers, subordinates, and peers converging on the individual who is the subject of the feedback.

The model for 360-degree recognition would be different. Recognition would radiate out in all direc.tions from the centre. To show that recognition can flow in both directions, the individual at the centre would be connected to others by lines, rather than by arrows.

In organizations where a culture of appreciation flourishes, all staff members would have their own 360-degree recognition circles. By encouraging 360.degree recognition, organizations can ensure that all staff, no matter what their level in the organization, will be regular recipients of recognition.




One last thought about National Boss Day

While National Boss Day is a great idea, recognition should not be a once-a-year event. We know that other staff members won’t remain motivated and committed if they are only recognized once each year, so why should we expect people who just happen to be managers to be any different?

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