4 Elements For Effective Recognition

 In Employee Recognition and Performance

One of the essential elements to stimulate employee engagement is without doubt recognition. Everybody needs to have his work recognized. There are a million ways to offer recognition to people, but effective recognition needs 4 important elements to have true value.


The moment chosen to recognize an employee is very important. For instance, Jonathan, your department leader, has succeeded to increase sales by 35% in the last quarter. If you mention this accomplishment 6 months later during his annual evaluation, the effect will be minimal. On the other hand, if you recognize his accomplishment a few days after the numbers for the quarter are out, then you will have a real impact.

The effect of recognition is inversely proportional to the amount of time spent between the behaviour deserving to be mentioned and the recognition itself.


You have probably been told (if your name is Johnny):

Great job Johnny!

Which is indeed a recognition. But is it effective? Unfortunately not. Recognition must be specific. The person needs to know why he is recognized. What he did right. If we want that behaviour to happen again, its author must know exactly which behaviour he did correctly.

Great job Johnny! You managed to reassure the customer by proposing very good solutions to his objections. The client left the meeting in a good mood and looks forward starting the project with us.

Johnny now know what he did right and is now more likely to reproduce the behaviour in the future.


Proximity has an important role to play in recognition. Consider these 3 situations:

  1. Your boss sends you an email to congratulate you.
  2. Your boss calls you on the phone to congratulate you.
  3. Your boss comes by your office to congratulate you.

Which of these scenarios would please you the most? Obviously, in person. Email is nice. Phone is better, but in person is the best. The closer you are to the person you want to recognize, the bigger will be the impact of the recognition. It is not always possible to do so in person. But as much as possible, try. And if you must send an email, be sure it is personalized for the person. The worst thing to do would be to send a generic email.

4- Enthusiastic Recognition

As you probably know, the tone is also important.The way a message is delivered is very important. Be enthusiastic when you recognize someone. Put some passion into it. Look at the person in the eyes. Smile, shake his hand. And most importantly, be true. Never recognize someone if you don’t really think it. The other person would feel it. If a generic email recognition is the worst thing to do, being insincere is catastrophic…

What do you think about this? Do you recognize your employees? Do you do it for the right reasons? Do you have tricks to share? And always keep in mind: you will obtain more than you celebrate!

Altrum Reconnaissance
Altrum Reconnaissance offre des outils et des programmes qui stimulent l’engagement et la mobilisation des employés afin de cultiver la performance de l’organisation.
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