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GREAT Staff Recognition

Five ingredients make staff recognition meaningful

Recognizing staff can be compared to assembling a jigsaw puzzle. Not all pieces are required to “see” the complete picture, but some—usually those found near the centre—are essential to understand the complete message.

For staff recognition to be meaningful, the essential ingredient is that the recognition be Genuine—inspired by a sincere sense of gratitude. As other ingredients are added, the message of appreciation becomes easier to see.

Here is how each ingredient contributes to creating a complete picture of gratitude:

Staff Recognition Must be Genuine

Staff recognition must always be Genuine. The person expressing appreciation must genuinely believe—and the recipient must know—that the recognition is deserved. Recognition that is insincere, given because it is the “thing to do,” or offered to an undeserving recipient is meaningless, and it diminishes the credibility of future recognition.

Staff Recognition Should be Relevant

Recognition that is Relevant relates to what the organization says is important, often expressed in the form of a vision, mission statement, values or goals. Relevant recognition focuses on behaviours that are key to employees’ on-the-job success, either as part of the team or as an individual.

Staff Recognition Should be Explicit

Explicit recognition makes the reason for recognition clear. There is a specific description of what the recipient did that is deserving of recognition.

Staff Recognition Should be Appropriate

Appropriate is about knowing staff members as individuals—their strengths, their passions, their interests and, of course, their recognition preferences. Appropriate recognition demonstrates that the manager understands that not every staff member fits into the same round hole, or even into a square one. There are some who prefer recognition be shaped more like an oval, triangle or octagon.

Staff Recognition Should be Timely

Recognition does not improve with age. The longer you wait to recognize someone, the less its impact. Timely recognition is delivered within hours or days of the event for which the recipient is being acknowledged, not weeks or months later.

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