Recognition has been shown to lower turnover, increase productivity, enhance teamwork and improve customer service. Unfortunately, recognition is often lacking in the workplace.

Common barriers include a perceived lack of time to provide recognition, a lack of money to spend on a recognition program, a lack of awareness of the research demonstrating the effectiveness of recognition, a lack of understanding of the need for recognition and a lack of skill in providing recognition.  Here are some ways to overcome these barriers:

Lack of Time:  We often overestimate the time it takes to give feedback.  Consider how long it actually takes to say: “Thank you for helping me with _______.  Here is how your contribution impacted our work________”.

Lack of Money: If you don’t have a large budget for a recognition program, you can implement verbal recognition, email thank you’s and hand written notes at no cost. The value of your recognition will be increased when the recognition or reward is personally meaningful to your employees and designed to reinforce performance objectives.

Lack of Awareness of Recognition’s Effectiveness: Often times people aren’t aware of the research that substantiates the importance of recognition. The article, “Bersin & Associates Unlocks the Secrets of Effective Employee Recognition”, provides very compelling data regarding the business case for recognition.

Lack of Understanding:   Individuals from the various generations may perceive recognition differently. A Boomer manager who has received minimal recognition throughout his or her career may not realize how important it is for their Millenial employees to receive frequent positive feedback.  Sometimes people don’t provide recognition because they are very task-oriented and don’t realize that people need recognition.

Lack of Skill:  For some, recognition does not occur because they are not comfortable in situations that require interpersonal communication. Their comfort level can be greatly increased with skill development.   Our virtual program, “Recognition: A Key Component in Talent Development”, provides skill development via a short recorded module combined with individual coaching.

You will find that as the obstacles to providing recognition are overcome, you will see increased motivation, enhanced communication, and improved productivity.

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