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Guest Commentary: Recognizing Recognition

In life, and in business, we all indeed want to know that what we do matters! We seek to be noticed and to know that our efforts count. True recognition is thoughtful and meaningful! It is a sincere investment in the employee. Recognizing high-performing employees is in the total control of the leader.

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John Passante is a broad-based senior executive with over 30 years of extensive organizational development and senior human resource experience with progressive corporations involved in multiple locations, both domestic and international.

I subscribe to the precept that each of us has a very strong need and desire to be recognized for who we are and perhaps, for who we can become, as well as to be appreciated for our contributions.

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There appears to be a recognition deficit; the lack of being recognized for a job well done is a de-motivator and permeates through an organization.

Appreciated and recognized employees are good for business. Sincere praise and recognition create positive emotions in an organization. A sincere “thank you” is a huge step on the road of employee recognition. In our “hurry up” world, we tend to be too busy to say “thank you!”

Think of this, data shows that companies that excel at recognizing their employees are more profitable. It is also a fact that many employees will quit due to a lack of recognition. Recognition drives performance, positive behaviors and can improve a company’s culture! It is a privilege of leadership to recognize employees.

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Proactively recognizing those employees (associates) who have a positive impact on your organization truly improves attitudes, moods and improves their quality of life. The employee takes the good feelings home with them.

In life, and in business, we all indeed want to know that what we do matters! We seek to be noticed and to know that our efforts count. True recognition is thoughtful and meaningful! It is a sincere investment in the employee. There are many variables in today’s business environment. It is important to point out that recognizing high-performing employees is in the total control of the leader.

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When we are recognized and appreciated, we push ourselves to do more. To contribute to the good of the organization. Recognized employees are your roadmap to success in the future. By recognizing employees, we create memories and light the fire of employee passion.

We have all experienced the emotion in the room at annual sales meetings. When the awards are presented it is not uncommon for the recipients to have tears in their eyes as they walk to the stage to receive their award. That experience will indeed stay with them forever. And the audience is involved in a shared experience. Peer-to-peer recognition is powerful.

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Employee recognition should be tied in to your company values and mission statement, which will positively have a strong impact on your company culture. It lifts us and encourages us to think and to act on a higher positive level. True recognition comes not only from the brain, but it is a heartfelt moment. It can be best defined as timely, formal or informal acknowledgement of a person’s performance, of a person or team’s efforts that support the overall goals of the organization. Recognition puts fuel in the employee’s emotional tank. It sends a powerful message to the recipient as well the formal and informal company communication channels and affects moods and can make work fun. Appreciation is a fundamental human need. A desire for valiant performance and effort.

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Permit me to offer a perspective, the opportunity to recognize extraordinary employee performance is a privilege. That should be a valued responsibility of enlightened leaders. Employee recognition creates a workplace vitality and creates positive juice and a framework of collaboration, encouragement, positive attitudes and professional productivity. Recognition is a gift that is best shared and builds a belief in the future, employee loyalty and retention.

Today is a good day to give your employees your undivided attention (No checking emails or taking phone calls during a conversation with an employee!). Watch the magic of motivation, focus and clarity of communication. Recognition is making people feel important and valued, because they are. Recognition drives enduring results and is a force of positive influence, at all levels of an organization. Recognition shines a very bright light on achievers! Clearly employee recognition can and will move the needle in your organization.

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Research proves that employee recognition works. It increases profits and customer satisfaction. The question is: are we all too busy to recognize our greatest resource?

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