Here are some simple, inexpensive yet effective ways to communicate your appreciation for your colleagues and employees.
- Practice “concentrated” recognition. Call a team member into your office just to thank him or her for doing a good job. Don’t discuss any other issue, or else you will dilute the effect.
- Establish a “traveling” trophy. Buy a trophy and present it to a deserving employee in your area. That employee will then have the responsibility to select the next person to be recognized and explain why.
- Remote employees often suffer from “out of site, out of mind” anxiety. Fax a note or leave a voice-mail today for someone in a branch office just to say thanks.
- If you distribute paychecks, write a note on the stub that recognizes each person’s individual contributions during that period.
- Spread the wealth. Managers rarely accomplish anything without a lot of help. When you get a promotion, or receive recognition yourself, acknowledge the contributions of your support staff by taking them out to lunch.
- “Trophy value” lasts a lot longer than cash. Take a photo of someone being congratulated by his or her manager. Give the photo to the individual or display it in a prominent location. Start a “Hall of Fame.”
- Ask a senior manager to attend a team meeting during which you recognize people for their achievements. Or use the “star power” of a top executive by arranging a personal call to thank a team member.
- Invite the team or department to your home after hours—perhaps to celebrate the completion of a project.
- Recognize outstanding skill or expertise by allowing an employee to mentor another. This also demonstrates your trust and respect.
- The next time you hear a positive remark about someone, repeat it to that person as soon as possible.
Workforce, January 2000, Vol. 79, No. 1, p. 63.