This week I’m focusing on methods and best practices for doing recognition right.

Have you ever playfully done the unexpected at work in an effort to appreciate, encourage or inspire team members? How about to just make them laugh or look at the commonplace in an entirely new way? See how Coca-Cola did just that with their “Happiness Machine.” (Be sure to click through and watch the video.)

I originally saw this video on Tanveer Naseer’s blog and, while I thought the video was fun and interesting, I was much more impressed with Tanveer’s insights:

“While it’s common practice for businesses to offer incentives for employees to take on a new task or assignment, it’s sadly a rare occurrence for leaders to offer praise or appreciation to employees for their own initiatives or efforts. In other words, instead of simply thinking one’s role is to evaluate and judge the performance of others, leaders need to understand the importance of validating what their employees see as their contribution to the company.

"As before, this doesn’t require any huge effort or expense for companies. It could be something as simple as taking the time to stop by an employee’s desk after a meeting and thanking them in person for the contributions/insights they provided to the discussion. Or perhaps writing a personal note of thanks to an employee for the initiatives they undertook on a recent project, leaving it in their cubbyhole as an unexpected surprise in their day (a perfect tie-in to the first point made above).”

Keying of just one of the many important points Tanveer makes, do you only sit in judgment of those who work for you, or do you also validate them for their contributions to the company? Perhaps more importantly, do you help gain a vision and understanding of precisely how they contribute to the company’s success? So few employees know this at a level such that they can make it real in their daily tasks. The most effective way of achieving that goal is through such strategic recognition, and thereby validation, of their efforts.

Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.