These tips will help you create a habit of recognizing your team’s results by praising their effort and contribution.
Why recognition and praise are important
Receiving recognition makes your people feel appreciated and fulfills a basic human need of feeling valued. When employees feel valued, and their efforts appreciated, it creates a sense of pride, motivating them to keep up their work and even improve it. Recognition not only boosts an individual's engagement, but it also has been found to increase productivity and loyalty to the company, leading to higher retention.
The business impact here is huge. In the world of purpose-driven work and the war for talent, simply recognizing your team members’ contribution, regularly and authentically, could be the lowest effort, highest return action you can take as a manager to improve your team engagement and performance.
According to Gallup's analysis, only one in three workers in the U.S. strongly agree that they received recognition or praise for doing good work in the past seven days.
Tips on how to give meaningful recognition
These three tips will help you give meaningful, authentic recognition:
Ask people their preferred way to receive feedback and praise
Some of your team members may prefer 1:1 verbal feedback, compared to others wanting public recognition. The first step is to ask each team member’s preference in a 1:1 setting. We often hear that people like to receive written feedback via praise, it stands the test of time and allows people to go back and read through their feedback, compared to verbal feedback that is often forgotten.
During your next 1:1 ask these questions:
What’s the best way for me to show you that I appreciate your work?
How do you like to celebrate when you achieve a goal?
Be specific when giving feedback
The key to authentic feedback is to make it specific describing what the person did and why you appreciated it. This makes it tangible for the person receiving feedback and it’s clear to them that you really put thought into your feedback.
Example: “The extra coaching you gave to the new recruits on the last project helped them to learn the appropriate procedures, and helped our department to reach our deadline on time.”
It's all about timing
Timing is another important aspect of sharing feedback. Celebrate when a project is delivered, an obstacle overcome or a goal reached. Letting your team know you see their efforts in real-time shows you are paying attention and they are valued.
Tip: Make time in your agenda to send recognition. This could be 15 minutes two times a week. This will help you build a habit, and ensure that feedback is shared at the moment that it matters most, rather than feeling like an afterthought. Once you have created this habit it will be a natural behavior to share feedback the moment you see a job well done.
Create a culture of recognition in your team
Colleagues work closely together and often have more visibility of each other's work than you do. Peer recognition highlights the effort that goes into achieving results whilst building relationships between peers. This also lightens your load as a manager, sharing the responsibility of recognizing each other's efforts and work.
Summary and Take-Aways
Letting your team know you see and appreciate their contributions could be the easiest way to boost team engagement and motivation. Make sure you take these actions as the first steps to creating a feedback culture in your team.
Create a 1:1 topic to ask how your team member prefer to receive feedback
Create a 15-minute slot in your agenda twice a week to share recognition to build your feedback muscle 💪
Want to kick it off by starting to share praise? Have a look at how you can do it in Impraise.