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"Good Job!" Recognition Training Benefits & Tips

Many of us have been eager to recognize a coworker for an achievement and struggle to find the words to best express our appreciation. Often, we resort to the old stand by, "Good job!" as we pat the person on the back and hurry along, leaving them wondering, 'Good job? What did I do right?' Since general comments do not communicate what actions took place, that person is unable to repeat the desired behavior, defeating one of the goals of sharing praise and recognition.

Managers' intentions are good, but without training, many do not know how to recognize their employees effectively. The ability to motivate others is a natural gift for some people. It is part of their personality. For the majority of supervisors, sharing effective recognition is a leadership skill that needs to be developed.

An emotional link, between the employee and manager, is important to motivating a higher level of performance. Too often, managers only provide feedback when there is a problem, leaving many achievements unnoticed. Loyalty and trust develop when employees receive appropriate amounts of both coaching and recognition.

One recognition survey found that 90% of employees stated, "Receiving recognition motivates me to improve my job performance." Yet, only 47% of those surveyed said, "My manager provides ample and effective recognition." The results demonstrate the critical role supervisors play and the importance of training.

Informal, verbal recognition is powerful. It is the most important aspect of recognition because it has the potential to reach the largest number of people, with the greatest personal impact, at the lowest cost.

The next time you have the opportunity to recognize a coworker, keep these tips in mind to create the greatest impact:

Timely Recognition - One of the keys to effective recognition is recognizing the person immediately following their accomplishment. Delayed mention of the event is similar to a belated Birthday card; it is perceived as an after thought and looses its value. Make time for recognition.

Specific Recognition - Share specific details of the employee's accomplishment. Repeating their story identifies they key aspects of the achievement and motivates them to repeat the desired behaviors. It also let's them know that you really understand the level of their contribution, which adds sincerity to the message. Tie in the impact their efforts have on the company, customers and the rest of the team.

Earned Recognition - In order for recognition to be effective, it must be earned. Many managers think it is a good idea to recognize employees who are struggling in hopes of motivating them to improve. Their intentions are good, but the results are detrimental. Doing so reinforces the wrong behaviors, condones poor performance and may discourage the high performing employees. Instead, privately ask questions to determine the root cause of the issues and encourage the employee. Once they have improved to a higher level, recognize their achievements.

Sincere Recognition - Be sure you know how to pronounce the employee's name correctly and familiarize yourself with their job and above & beyond contribution. This may sound obvious, but a mispronounced name or the wrong information will be perceived as insincere. The tone of your voice should be upbeat and genuine. Positive body language is essential, so smile, make relaxed eye contact and enjoy yourself!

In today's competitive and challenging business environment, innovative companies realize the importance of training managers responsible for their most important asset...People.