In “Make Their Day! Employee Recognition That Works 2nd Edition,” Cindy Ventrice discusses the fact that people perform better when they feel valued. She talks about the manager who makes recognition a priority and creates a high-performing workforce. And the executive who goes to another company with a culture of recognition, taking his good performers with him, and watches his good performers turn into stars. Your employee recognition and workplace thank you efforts produce significant results.
1. Make It Personal
A successful workplace thank you is one that is personal and meaningful to the receiver. In SHRM’s white paper “The Fundamentals of Employee Recognition,” Teresa A. Daniel, J.D. and Gary S. Metcalf, Ph.D. explain that one of the things that makes a good reward is when it’s meaningful. They stress that the one giving the workplace thank you must learn what’s important to and what motivates the receiver.
2. Be Specific
Effective employee recognition, especially saying “thank you,” is specific. It’s not enough to just thank a co-worker for help with a project, or an employee for taking care of a customer complaint. Whether it’s a thank you note or a hand shake and a verbal thank you, the person saying thank you should explain exactly why they are appreciative.
“Thanks for explaining different ways we could help Mr. Smith get his large order delivered when he needed it. He’s a good customer, and you treated him very well. We appreciate your good customer service work to satisfy a long-time customer we don’t want to lose.”
A thank you note explaining a co-worker’s appreciation for a team member’s help with some difficult new spreadsheet formulas that helped meet a deadline is more specific than just writing “thanks for your help.”
3. Be Sincere (it’s an issue of trust)
Recognition that’s sincere creates an element of trust that is missing in standardized recognition programs. In her book “Make Their Day! Employee Recognition That Works 2nd Edition,” Cindy Ventrice uses an example of a supervisor who damaged employee trust with insincere thank you’s by complaining about employees while giving out cash awards to try to motivate improvement.
Make your workplace thank you sincere by trusting people and treating them with respect. In SHRM’s white paper, authors Daniel and Metcalf offer the following points for sincerely thanking someone:
• Thanking the person by name
• Stating what the person did that you appreciate
• Explain how you felt about whatever you are grateful for
• Stating how the behavior added value
• Call the person by name again and expressing that you personally value
the effort being recognized
4. Be Timely
Don’t wait until it’s awkward or diminishes the recognition to give a workplace thank you. Even if the behavior or effort will be recognized at a formal event or ceremony that is in the future, saying thank you as close to when the actual effort happens is important. It lets the person know you acknowledge their good work, makes them feel good, and motivates them to keep doing what is appreciated.
5. Make It Part of Your Culture (don’t wait for the holidays; look for and celebrate everyday success)
Don’t save the workplace thank you for the annual company picnic. Make it part of your culture and celebrate every day success. In “Winning with a Culture of Recognition,” Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine tell readers how to develop a culture of recognition and explain that the emotions of pride, gratitude, satisfaction, and happiness from being thanked create positive energy in a culture of recognition.
To learn more ways to bring a culture of appreciation to your workplace, you’ll enjoy our free eBook below.
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About gThankYou, LLC
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