IT Voice July S-3 2014

Can We Motivate Employees through Recognition?

Through out my career, I was reminded of how important recognition is in the workplace and in life. We want recognition, we thrive on it and it makes us feel good. Yet most of us do not give or receive enough of it.

 I have talked to many of my friends on this topic who are employers or employees at various levels in different industries and most of them said one of the most important things employees wanted is recognition. They want to be appreciated, applauded and recognized for the contributions they make in the company. Yet sadly recognition is something most employees feel they don’t receive – at least not often enough.
Employee recognition is not just a nice thing to do for people. Employee recognition is a communication tool that reinforces and rewards the most important outcomes people create for business. As leaders we know that the secret to success is being able to draw out and encourage employees to be their best. Recognizing the strengths and contributions of those around us and taking the time to let them know how important they are is critical to organizational success. Human beings live and grow with praise.

Most employees say that they would love more money but what they want most is to be appreciated and recognized. Yet it is not happening in the workplace. Why are we hesitant to give recognition? Why do we keep the positive things to ourselves? Why do we believe recognition is someone else’s job? The answer is very interesting, with my experience, I have understood, the following things prevent our Leaders to recognize their Employees.

 1) It’s scary. Giving recognition and praise is risky.

2) Employees might get a big head and stop working so hard. The opposite is actually true – employees will work harder when they know they are appreciated.

 3) We don’t have time. I know we are all busy but that’s no excuse – we must make the time.

4) We don’t know how to do it. There are thousands of resources available. Google “employee recognition” and we will find lots of information to help us recognize the people we work with.

 5) It’s not our job. Recognition is management’s job. While I agree management needs to recognize their employees but we all can make a difference by recognizing and letting our coworkers know how much we appreciate them. Recognition is everyone’s job!

6) We are not good with people. But we can learn – we all can. Attend a seminar, read a book and practice.

 7) They will come to expect praise if we give it too often. I do believe we can praise too often if we always keep it real. Fake praise or recognition will never work.
 8) We don’t see anything to recognize. Watch, listen and ask questions. The best way to recognize others is to be a good observer. All employees have some merits for which they can be recognized for.

9) It’s hard. Yes it can be hard and it takes time. Yet the rewards will outweigh whatever time and effort it takes.

 10) We should get it first. The best way to begin the cycle of recognition is to be the one to give it. Recognition is contagious – and it may just come back to us!

Recognition takes time and commitment. Recognition is a life long journey both in our professional and personal lives. The better we are at recognizing others – the more excellence we’ll have in business and in life.

 As our day goes by, let’s watch and listen for ways to recognize our fellow employees & friends. Look for ways we can applaud, appreciate or affirm them. Take the job of recognition seriously and go make someone’s day. Sometimes a simple ‘ thank you ‘ is just the encouragement someone needs. And at other times its just a ‘smile’. Whatever it is – let’s do something to recognize someone today.

Let me conclude with a smile !

Tarun Taunk


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