Employee Recognition Only Works When It’s AuthenticBy Alanah Throop on October 18, 2010 in Thought Leadership
This is an extension of a piece I wrote for the August theme on Ready To Feedback.
The best incentive isn’t money – it’s recognition. Getting a big fat bonus is nice but it can feel so much better to get meaningful feedback about your work.
Work is a much better place when we are recognized for our effort – we are all happier and we work harder.
This is extremely true, and not just for the Gen Ys, everyone wants to be recognized for their work!
How good does it feel when someone acknowledges your work? I feel extremely lucky to begin my career in a place that understands how important recognition is. At Rypple, public employee recognition is a huge part of our culture and I couldn’t imagine working in a place that doesn’t make it a priority. I’ve been here for a few months and I feel the difference. Here’s why: not only do my colleagues make a point of recognizing my work, but I’m confident that when they do, it really means something.
There are many other companies out there today that have similar values as Rypple does. Hubspot, Zappos, Mozilla and Miovision are just a few examples of corporations who think recognition is a key factor to employee happiness.
The hard part about recognition is the authenticity factor. How do you know if the recognition you get is authentic? How can you give authentic recognition?
How can you tell the recognition you get is authentic?
It’s simple. It comes from the heart. It sounds cheesy, I know, but it’s true. Think about someone trying to sell you something that they don’t believe in – you can tell almost immediately. If someone is selling you something that they love and believe in, it’s authentic, it’s real. You can feel how much they care about it and how genuine their pitch is. This same idea applies to authentic recognition.
While it’s great to talk about, actions speak louder than words. The way your manager or co-worker gives you the feedback is important. Two ways to tell employee recognition is authentic:
- It’s specific and relevant to the things you worked on
- Your boss or co-worker is comfortable sharing the feedback publicly
How can you give authentic recognition?
There are a few measures that can be taken to assure that the recognition you give is authentic.
- Feel it, say it. Like I said before, if you want to give feedback to someone, say what you feel. It will be taken and appreciated so much more if you are genuine and say what you feel.
- If you don’t feel it don’t say it. Pretty self explanatory – if someone asks you for some feedback, don’t make something up just to make them happy.
- Build a relationship on trust. If you have a relationship with your employees and managers built on trust, the feedback you give (positive or negative) will be taken into consideration and appreciated.
- Make it public! There is no better feeling to be recognized for something you did in front of your co-workers. Try using a tool like Rypple for easy public employee recognition.
In this HBR article on recognizing employees effectively, there are some similar pointers – if you present your recognition in an effective method, it will be taken as honest and authentic.
Feedback and authenticity go hand in hand. If you are not genuine with your feedback, the trust in your relationship is going to dwindle. You have to build that trust with authenticity.
Do you get enough recognition? Can you tell when it’s authentic?
Photo of hands by kev.flanagan. Licensed under CC.