Employee Recognition – Catch Someone

Have you caught anyone doing something right? Traditionally we tend to admonish and call out the mistakes made on the job or reprimand the problem employees – the “squeaky wheel getting the grease”, so to speak. All this, while the unsung heroes of your organizations, who are at the core of your organization’s accomplishments, go about their jobs, mostly unnoticed. I am sure many of us are guilty of this. We personally had been.

To solve this issue, …

…we took a different tact by introducing the “Catch Someone Doing Something Good Award”. This award has become the most prestigious award within the company. The recipient is nominated by their piers and/or supervisors, without the employees knowledge, for extraordinary deeds done during the course of the work day. These deeds are documented and submitted to the President for review. Once a month, or whenever the deed warrants recognition, the person is selected for special recognition. Once someone is selected, we find out something particular that that person has wanted, that they may not normally purchase for themselves or could afford. The item to present is found by asking spouses, co-workers or friends. Once the item is selected, it is purchased and presented. The presentation is in the middle of the work day. The staff is called into a central work area, where the shocked and surprised recipient is thanked in public for “doing something right”. The award could be an ipod, a favorite (and expensive) baseball bat, a gift certificate to a favorite store or an etched piece of crystal documenting the achievement. The unexpected recognition, more times than not has brought tears to the recipient

One of the best kept secrets today is the power of recognizing employees. To be the most effective, the recognition or thank you should come as soon as possible after the achievement or desired activity. You also need to be specific about what you are praising the person for and why. Recognition and praising that are too broad tend to seem insincere. But saying “Thank you for the exceptional initiative you have shown in developing new business” or “Thank you for turning a potentially embarrassing and disappointing situation with a customer around with your willingness to help” specifically says what and why an employee’s effort was of value. Try “Recognizing the Everyday Greatness” around you – it will be appreciated and worth the effort.