Everyone has an invisible sign hanging from their neck saying, "Make me feel important." ~Mary Kay Ash
When it comes to recognition, it's no longer just about the big days. Sure, big days are still important, but when you focus on the everyday wins, you're seizing 364 possible opportunities to acknowledge people and reinforce what brings value to you and your team, unit and the organization.
Recognize the people who are there day in and day out, plugging along doing a great job – don't take them for granted. "Support" people often get overlooked, but are, nonetheless, the guts and glue of the organization.
Some people have talents that cause them to give informal recognition naturally. Others have developed this behavior as a skill. If it doesn't come naturally to you, make it a goal (and put it on your calendar) to acknowledge/recognize the efforts and contributions of those around you every day until it becomes a habit. Continue to build on this habit until it is second nature and has become a skill.
Informal recognition is extremely powerful and can be a lot of fun. Make it so!
- Tangible acknowledgements have their place, but the "non-stuff" stuff is the most powerful.
- First and foremost is simple verbal appreciation and acknowledgement. A simple thanks and a smile go a long way.
- Make a conscious effort to look around you for achievements and successes – they're happening on a daily basis!
- Listen to people. Listen to their perspectives, problems, ideas, and issues. This demonstrates respect, caring, and makes people feel valued.
If you're a manager...
- Acknowledge good work by giving out challenging assignments, fulfilling tasks, and ongoing positive feedback.
- Make sure each person understands how their work supports the institution's mission.
- Mention the good work done by an individual or your team to your manager.