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Staff recognition tips & techniques

Recognition…Just for Coming to Work

The crowd erupted. Sixteen thousand fans cheered…whistled…applauded. It was as if something wonderful had just happened.

But nothing had happened. The referee still hadn’t dropped the puck…and wouldn’t for several more minutes. None of the twenty-two Edmonton Oilers had done anything yet…no highlight reel goals, no crushing bodychecks, no dazzling saves. All that the players had done so far that January evening was to skate out on the ice.

It was the workplace equivalent of arriving at work. There really is nothing unusual about showing up for work on time. Daily, millions of workers do this in hundreds of thousands of workplaces across Canada. And no one seems to notice.

Unlike better-paid professional athletes, these “regular” folks are never greeted with applause when they arrive. For the most part, the only times they receive feedback are when they show up late, or not at all.

Somehow, this picture doesn’t seem right. Why should professional athletes be greeted so enthusiastically when they arrive for work, while everyone else is greeted with silence and seeming indifference? Shouldn’t there be times when teachers, nurses, retail workers, service providers, technicians, and other regular folks be told that they are appreciated…just for coming to work day in and day out?

You may not have an arena that you can fill with cheering fans, but there are simple ways you can show that you appreciate your staff just for being there.

Be present when they arrive. Greet them as they enter the building or the work area. Say good morning. Shake their hands. Occasionally, offer them a muffin or donut. Serve them breakfast. On particularly chilly mornings, provide a warm welcome in the form of a steaming cup of hot chocolate. On a fine spring morning, offer each a flower.

Do something to let them know that you are happy just to see them…just because they have shown up for work!

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