Recognition is Common Sense

November 21, 2011

Keeping employees happy in this economy can be a full time job for any Indiana organization. Giving people confidence and supporting their ability are critical aspects of motivating the workforce. But there are no easy recognition formulas out there.

In 1926, Dale Carnegie authored, Public Speaking and Influencing Men in Business, which was edited into the best seller, How to Develop Self- Confidence and Influence People by Public Speaking in 1956. In it he writes, “Think Success. It is easily in your power to do this. Believe it firmly and you will then do what it is necessary to bring success about.” This is a powerful statement about motivation.

With any success, comes achievement and recognition. They go hand-in-hand in making success an integral aspect of hard working people.  Success indeed makes people happier in both work and life. By common sense definition, achievement is doing something well, and recognition is paying attention to people in a positive way for doing it.

Where leaders and managers screw up is when the two are combined in the effort to save time and energy. That can be a problem because recognizing achievement is so important to the individual. Giving someone a plastic battery operated desk clock after 25 years of service, or a paper thin plaque for being number one in sales is not doing what Mr. Carnegie suggests you do. A simple team dinner with the honored guest that is based on honest and supportive public recognition is a much better alternative.  A public pat on the back in a quarterly meeting means more than a cheap pen that is delivered by  UPS.

Even small symbols of recognition go a long way. Taking someone to lunch, giving the afternoon off, presenting two tickets to a play or sporting event, even a “Great Job/ Thank You!” by e-mail and text works wonders.

It is the little things and the inexpensive things that give people greatest  joy. It simply makes someone’s day when a smile, a hug, and a handshake are combined to recognize the excellence in people who work for and with you.  If worked for Mr. Carnegie, it will indeed work for you. He knew how to make friends with positive influence.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Central Indiana, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Indiana. We would love to connect with you on Facebook.

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