When it comes to expressing effective recognition, how you say it is just as important as what you say. Whether you're writing your recognition or making a verbal presentation, careful consideration of your message will make for effective recognition. For every thank you and great job, follow these four qualities of effective recognition and praise.
Praise that invokes sarcasm or jokes is not effective recognition. To reinforce positive behaviors and make people feel comfortable with recognition, always use sincerity. Stick to the facts and keep the flip attitude out.
For effective recognition, make sure to acknowledge the behavior or accomplishment immediately after it takes place. Praising someone right after the event communicates that you pay attention to them and their actions. Not only will you reinforce the desired behavior, you’ll also convey a sense of belonging.
Recognition is about reinforcing the positive behaviors you want to see repeated. To implement effective recognition, be very specific about the individual’s achievement and avoid phrases such as "above and beyond." Rather, state exactly what the individual did that you admired.
Effective recognition is meaningful when it ties the praise back to an individual's personality or qualities. When you let an individual know you appreciate their signature strength, you will increase their pride and confidence of that ability. Soon, you’ll begin to see their strength shining through in everyday tasks.
Nonverbal Communication Plays a Role in Recognition
Did you know that communication is over 90% nonverbal? That means your body language is richer in content than the words you speak. Facial expressions, gestures and posture are all examples of body language which can set the tone of any verbal communication messages.
Body language makes the audience aware of your tone because it sends messages about your interest in the exchange. This makes body language especially important to delivering effective recognition messages.
For moments when you want to deliver effective recognition, be considerate not only of the words you choose but also the messages your body language sends. Here are a few simple reminders that will send positive nonverbal messages and effective recognition:
- Make eye contact
- Stand with your arms by your side
- Do not fidget
- Stand up straight
Cori Curtis is a Certified Recognition Professional and a member of the 70 million strong Gen Y generation. To learn more about recognizing the essential pieces of all generations, visit Baudville's Recognition Resource Center .
Once you master your effective recognition message, how you deliver the message is important. Always consider your recipient's preferences when selecting your message medium. Here are some great ways to send your effective recognition message:
Write a letter on company letterhead
Send a creative E-card
Leave a message on their facebook or MySpace profile
Mail a greeting card to their home
Recognition Best Practices
This month's Recognition Best Practice idea comes from Barbara Rowley in Rochester, New York. Thanks Barbara!
"We have incorporated the lapel pins with the "You Make the Difference" cards and call it our "Thank You" program. Employees appreciate each other for the small things and the "above and beyond" things that can go unrecognized, but make our jobs easier or more pleasant. We collect the award receipts and have a drawing each month for a $125 gift card. The card is drawn and read aloud by our CEO at our monthly company-wide "Town Meeting." Employees from all 10 company locations participate."