A couple of weeks ago, I asked you if it’s possible to recognize employees too much. This was in response to a comment I heard that employees never tire of praise. Here’s what you said about recognition at work:
Honestly, we shouldn’t be surprised at the result. The clear majority of people said employees want quality over quantity. What’s surprising to me is, if we know that, then why not just do it? Organizations can train their managers – frankly, we can train everyone – to deliver well-timed, specific praise using a communication style that is pleasing to the recipient.
But as some of the people who commented on the post mentioned, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Recognition has multiple components:
- The recipient of the praise and their preferred recognition style.
- The task or result that is the subject of the praise.
- The deliverer of the praise and their perception of the task/result.
- The recognition deliverer’s communication style.
And if all of those pieces are put together perfectly, then the praise is well-delivered and well-received. But if one of those is just slightly off, it can have an impact. A couple of classic examples include:
- The employee who is disappointed because their manager only said, “Good Job!” And the boss thought that was acceptable.
- The manager that recognizes an employee during the monthly department meeting and the employee is mortified to be called out of the crowd.
Recognition and praise are necessary and challenging. And that means that sometimes, it might not be perfect. However, the goal is certainly not an excuse for half-hearted recognition. You still want the recipient to appreciate the spirit of the praise.
The best way to get good at delivering quality recognition is to do a lot of it. Hopefully, employees won’t get sick of their managers practicing.0