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On-the-Spot Recognition…anyone can do it!

September 18, 2009

Most managers believe that appreciation leads to better staff motivation, yet 86% of company leaders say that their organization’s managers could be doing a better job of recognizing and thanking employees for good work. If everyone agrees that recognition is so important to the success of a business, why are so many businesses lacking in this area?

Much of the problem boils down to two popular myths that have wormed their way into many businesses.

Myth 1: managers don’t have time for recognition.

Myth 2: managers don’t know how to do it.

The truth is anyone can thank or congratulate an employee for a job well done, and it doesn’t have to compromise the other tasks that fill up the to-do list. Here are three tips for making spot recognition a part of your daily schedule without getting in the way of other obligations.

1. Jot it down: When was the last time you received a hand-written note of appreciation? Chances are, you held onto it for days, weeks or even years. Make an appointment once a week to write a quick note of appreciation to a coworker for a contribution or achievement you noticed. It can be just a couple of lines and it doesn’t have to take more than a couple of minutes, but the impact will be worth it.

2. Use two little words: Thank you. You can’t use them often enough. Thank employees for the ways they contribute, even if it’s a part of their expected job function. Appreciating people and valuing their work means they’ll be more willing to contribute in the future.

3. Remind yourself to recognize: Keep a recognition reminder visible in your work area. maybe it’s a stack of note cards or an icon on your desktop. Get regular recognition reminders and tips when you follow Terryberry on twitter. If you remind yourself daily to look for ways that employees are contributing, you’ll get in the habit in no time.

If you’re looking for tools to help you enhance your personal spot recognition plan, check out Recognize Me Managers’ Performance Packs. These desktop organizers contain hundreds of tools for spot recognition to help managers find the right way to say thanks or reward an employee in the moment.

For more ideas, visit You’ll find a free certificate maker for personalized recognition certificates, an award presentation cheat sheet to help you prepare what to say when you’re presenting a special award, and many other helpful tools.


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