Recognise This! – Because recognition is so valuable, we often try to over-complicate what can be a very simple message.

When you think of “recognition in the workplace,” what are some words that come to mind?  Chances are that the words and ideas on your list include things like “plaque,” “watch,” “pizza,” “cake,” or “balloons.”  Am I right?  Admit it, I’m right!  (In the words of John McClane, “I hate being right all the time.”)

Can I be honest?  You’re making it too hard.  The minute recognition becomes a hassle—as in “How am I supposed to take everyone out of the office to go to lunch?” or “Where do I buy a plaque and what should it say?”—that’s when recognition stops happening altogether.

Sometimes recognition can be as simple as “How was your weekend?” or “What was your time on the 5K?”  Showing sincere interest in someone is the best recognition of all.  I’ve worked with employees before who aren’t sure that their bosses even know their names—no, really, that’s absolutely true.  And how in the world can you show sincere interest if you don’t even know someone’s name?

Recognition doesn’t have to be as hard as you’re making it.  Your challenge?  “Recognise” your coworkers by showing that you care: learn something new about one of your coworkers today.  At the very least, learn that person’s name!