Public Recognition

A reader writes….

Dear, Anita,
Due to tight budgets, I am unable to give my staff promotions or raises so I’m trying to come up with additional ways to reward them – without breaking the bank. Besides giving positive feedback one-on-one or a pat on the back, what are some other ideas?

Dear, “Mindful Manager,”

As you’re leading your team through projects, sitting in meetings, and making decisions, there’s no doubt that your role as a manager is critical. What you may not realize, however, is that the way you interact with your staff (including your tone with them, your body language, your words) has a tremendous impact. In most cases, your team cares about what you think of them and their performance on the job. One simple way to truly “make their day” is to recognize them publicly.

Don’t limit the praise and high-fives to your private meetings. Instead, make a point of recognizing their good work and dedication in front of the entire staff…. Or in front of the entire company for that matter! Even the shyest of shy likes to be recognized in front of peers and co-workers… there’s just something about being a hero for that very moment.

My advice would be to get on the agenda the next time you have a company meeting. Or initiate a “town meeting” with your immediate department where you can share some success stories and invite key performers up on stage.

Another idea is to establish an “Employee of the Month” program where recipient names are featured on the company website, in a newsletter, or even on the internal intranet site (if available).

Public recognition is a great (and affordable) way to acknowledge employees. It also motivates others who may be seeking the limelight to crank up their performance a notch or two.

Hey Managers! What are some other suggestions for recognizing top performers? Do you agree that public recognition works well?

Please post your comments here!

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. m.capriola
    Mar 28, 2012 @ 07:50:46

    It’s been standard in the US military for some time that a subordinate should be praised in public and criticized in private.

    It’s good for morale to puff someone up in front of his or her peers. That’s why commendations and medals are handed out in a public venue. We don’t give an Olympic gold-medal winner his prize behind closed doors.

    On the other end, criticism should not become humiliation, which is why it should be done in private. You want to educate and correct, not destroy.


  2. Jackie Ferguson
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 14:33:56

    A public Thank you for a job well done (with specifics) goes a long way.


  3. sunshine
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 04:07:23

    Have a different employee of da months an give away a prize, that way you want be out of so much money trying to satisfy everybody.


  4. dianna gear
    Mar 25, 2012 @ 07:38:33

    public recognition is good. also, if your company will let you let the employee have a casual dress day maybe. or buy little tin buttons for the employee to collect and wear. they’re relatively inexpensive. i worked for a dept where we had buttons that said New Business and people in the elevator and other depts always commented on my dept’s button. they loved it. make the buttons say way to go or above and beyond, etc. that opens doors of good positive communication between employees also.


  5. Cindy
    Mar 21, 2012 @ 22:16:25

    besides public praise which goes a long way….give them the afternoon off WITH PAY. Like on a Friday afternoon. They will love you.


    • Cindy
      Mar 26, 2012 @ 11:24:26

      Also thought of something else. Depending on where the employees park, there can be a employee of the month parking space where that employee parks really close to the building. That’s what, one company I temped for, did for their permanent employees


    Mar 20, 2012 @ 20:39:09

    you know is wrong with this country is that we don’t know how to give thanks for what we have. if the people are working for you than they should be grateful to you because the good work they do is part of being employeed in this day and time and if they don’t do a good job for which you are thankful than fire them


  7. Gina Kahlstrom
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 15:54:52

    write a company newsletter and mention certain employees recognition within the articles so all can see and apprieate. Maybe an Employee of the Month reward with maybe a little cake and gift certificate to a local resturant. Possibly a special parking area? Or maybe ask your staffs opinions to submit their ideas as to how to be recognized for their hard efforts. Hey one other idea maybe an occasional ED (early dismissal) These are all ideas that have been done for past employers Iv’e worked with. Good Luck


  8. Manage Better Now
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 13:45:42

    I don’t know that recognition has to be given publicly to be meaningful. A hand written thank you note can really make someone’s day. Especially if the manager takes the time to not precisely what they appreciate.


  9. Donna Dobbins
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 08:09:29

    You, should just give one a gift card just to think them for everything you do for you to me that’s a good idea.


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Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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