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Stepwise Success

Are You Recognized?

Published June 16, 2014 6:01 AM by Scott Warner

Being recognized for what we do is an essential human need. We appreciate a thank you, acknowledgement, or praise at work. The giver and receiver benefit from a sincere “Thanks!” Whether the effort is big or small -- sometimes the smallest things matter so much -- it’s crucial to be noticed. It can make the difference between a place to pick up a paycheck while you’re wishing you could quit and a great job you’re happy to have.

Susan Heathfield has these tips for a successful employee recognition program:

  • All employees must be eligible
  • The recognition must be specific
  • Anyone who performs at the stated standard receives the reward
  • The recognition should happen as close as possible to the performance
  • Avoid management selecting people to receive recognition e.g. Employee of the Month

A reward can be money, but we’re already getting paid. Throwing money at someone sends a message that amount n is linked to specific performance. We work for more than money. Being noticed can be as simple as the boss walking up to you and saying, “Thank you for staying last night to help the evening tech” to an article showcasing your accomplishment in a hospital newsletter.

As one PR firm puts it, “Employee recognition isn’t rocket science – it is an obvious thing to do.” The same site points out that 51% of workers are satisfied with recognition they receive. Many employers don’t recognize employees or botch it. Managers just don’t get it and aren’t trained to do it.

I believe it! I’ve never worked at a place with a recognition culture. Sure, I’ve been recognized here and there -- even a blind squirrel gets a nut once in a while -- but there’s always been a haphazard sense of cherry-picking about it. Any programs that are instituted to encourage and recognize creative ideas never stick, because no one really buys it. And, sure enough, when I started my current position and interviewed techs to see what the top issues were, “Lack of Recognition” was in the top ten.

Are you recognized?

NEXT: Better Counting

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About this Blog


    Scott Warner, MLT(ASCP)
    Occupation: Laboratory Manager
    Setting: Critical Access Hospital
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