I’ve shared a few blog posts on the importance recognizing your employees. I’ve talked about the positive affect recognition has on your team. In another post, I listed how and when to recognize employees, The Top Ten Times to Recognize Employees. You’d think I’d run out of things to say about recognition, wouldn’t you? I thought so too, but then I saw the light. There’s another critical aspect to giving recognition that’s so important that recognition may seem hollow and phony without it. Unfortunately, it’s a critical part of recognition that is almost never discussed. Would you like to know what it is? Okay then. Let’s get specific about recognition – specific recognition.

Get Specific with Recognition

And that’s your answer – get specific with recognition. There’s nothing wrong with sharing platitudes such as, “Good job” “Nice work” or “I appreciate what you do!” But without being specific, they can sound a little bit like a politician asking if she can hold your baby while shaking your hand. So, here’s what I mean by specific recognition.

Not long ago I complimented an administration team member who had recently taken over marketing including social media for her firm. They weren’t happy with the agency they hired and needed someone to fill the shoes. She volunteered. Almost immediately, the company needed some collateral print materials designed for a special event. She did a good job with it, and I told her so. Not just, “Hey good job” but I told her what I liked about the marketing piece. I gave her specific recognition.

Next, I complimented her on what she’d been posting on the company Facebook page. I specifically told her what I liked about what she was sharing and gave her a couple of ideas. After I complimented her, I told the owner of the company the good job she was doing. Later she told me he had come to her office to share with her that she was getting high marks on social media.

When You Give Someone Specific Recognition:

  • They know you’re involved with what they’re doing, that you pay attention, and care
  • They’re more likely to repeat the behavior that brought the specific recognition
  • They become more of a committed teammate, and some will even jump through hoops for you

Recognize Specific Behaviors and Activities

When you recognize specific behaviors and activities, you don’t sound like someone trying to put smiley faces on the world. You sound like someone who knows what they’re talking about, and who cares about their teammates. The next time you recognize a direct report make it specific. So, have I been specific enough about specific recognition?

How Can I Help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

So, does your business have a  management training plan? Because, if not, many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out.

Photo by Husna Miskandar on Unsplash