Recognition Tips

Just Say Thanks

MENLO PARK, CA - A simple "thank you" still goes a long way in motivating employees, a recent survey of financial executives shows. Thirty-eight percent of those polled said that, other than monetary rewards, frequent recognition of accomplishments is the best way to encourage staff members. Frequent communication ranked a very close second, receiving 37 percent of the response.

Ten Second Tips For Managers

1. Set your employees up for success. When you give someone a new assignment, tell him why you're trusting him with this new challenge. "I want you to handle this because I like the way your handled ___ last week."

2. Make a quick stop to tell your employees any positive behavior that you've noticed. "Glad to see you're taking the right safety precautions," or I heard you on the phone with that customer. You said all the right things to understand the problem and solve it." You can do this is 10 seconds or less.

3. Resist the temptation to correct behaviors following a positive comment about an employee's work. Think how confusing this would sound: "Thanks for getting the report done, but it's 2 hours late." Deal with the "late" problem by setting a specific time the report is due tomorrow. Then if it is done on time, make a positive comment about the timeliness.

4. Resist the temptation to say, "It should have been submitted on time every day," or "It's about time you gave me this report on time." Don't use sarcasm, even in a teasing way. This kind of teasing isn't funny. When the performance is done as expected - make your positive comment and stifle!

5. Don't steal the stage. When an employee tells you of an accomplishment she's proud of, don't steal the stage by immediately telling her about something that this reminds you of. Keep the spotlight on her accomplishment by asking her to tell you more about it. This might be hard for you, especially if you're dying to tell her a better way she can do it next time, or if you want to share your own experience. Resist, resist, resist!

From You Made My Day: Creating Co-Worker Recognition and Relationships by Michael McCarthy & Janis Allen, (L-F Books, New York, 2000). 828/862-6552 or

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Recognition Tips

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