My experience with giving recognition using certificates, trophies, and gift cards, quite honestly, has been somewhat blasé. I’m never sure it has accomplished the goal that I had intended. Many times it was received with a lackluster thanks. Maybe I was at fault with my presentation… criteria used? What has been your experience?
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With that said… my recipients still put their rewards in a conspicuous place for all to see. Because, you see, no matter how it’s presented everyone still likes to be acknowledged. My goal, and should be yours, is to take this powerful tool up a notch however. With a little tweaking, and if properly executed, recognition can be a great motivator and loyalty builder for any sales force.
For those Giving Recognition:
Personal Recognition is Necessary for Top Performance
Seems like a no-brainer to me and yet I don’t see a lot of this going on in smaller teams and when it does in larger teams it’s not very meaningful. The certificate presentation with a nervously presented generic praise is better than nothing but comes off insincere many times. So how do you make it meaningful and sincere?
An example of this was when I received stock options personally for some competitive work I did. While that was extremely cool the founder took it up a notch. He put a personal note on the options page congratulating me on my specific work. What a motivator!
“People may take a job for more money, but they often leave it for more recognition.” -Bob Nelson
Recognition should have a personal touch. Not some generic compliment but specific to what the accomplishment was. How did it help the company? It needs to be genuine.
5 Hot Items for Successful Personal Recognition Giving
1.) Have a purpose. Is it a meaningful reward and recognition system?
2.) Don’t wait… along with evaluations/appraisals offer on the spot kudos!
3.) If you’re having a rough time giving out recognitions re-think your criteria.
4.) Believe it or not… a money reward rarely works.
5.) Choose an award that will highlight the achievement in a special way.
For those Receiving Recognition:
It’s OK to Receive Kudos
One of the issues that I’ve had with recognition giving is the lack-luster attitude from the recipient. They seem embarrassed in receiving recognition which makes me a little uncomfortable giving it. Seriously… who doesn’t like getting kudos. I know I do. So why do they act like it’s a pain?
Answer… self-esteem. We all tend to look at the total picture of ourselves and many times find that picture lacking. The fact of the matter is we can be admired for parts and pieces of what we do. There is no need to “fluff-off” this recognition. It’s OK to be recognized and act grateful for the reward.
The recipient needs to realize that they don’t have to be perfect to be deemed competent. Express this in some way to the team prior to recognition. A clear understanding of how and why a reward is being given is extremely helpful. It also keeps others from making judgement calls on the worthiness of the recipient.
The Power of Personal Recognition
I wish I could tell you that I’ve always been really good at this. Not true. Many times I found myself waiting until the last minute before a company meeting putting together a certificate and presenting such with a generic thanks. Shame on me. I have changed my ways however. Taking some time and effort to prepare my recognition presentation… I now enjoy an increased loyalty and respect from my team. They are inspired to do more. Goal accomplished! I can’t recommend this enough. Start today with genuine and sincere praise and you will see, first hand, the power of personal recognition.