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Feeling Valued and Employee Recognition – Important Tip and Tool

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Employees feel valued

Hopefully it isn’t a surprise to you that employees feeling valued is at the top of the list when it comes to employee retention. And it probably isn’t a surprise that employee recognition is key to helping employees feel valued.

What may or may not surprise you though is that not all employees like to be recognized the same way. But often times that’s what we do. We apply the “Golden Rule” of recognizing them the same way we would want to be recognized.

It is important though that leaders apply the “Platinum Rule” of employee recognition in helping them feel valued. Applying the Platinum Rule means you recognize employees the way they want to be recognized, not the way you want to be.

Through the years I have sent out a quick survey to those I have led. The survey has specific questions asking how each member of my team likes to be recognized. The following are the questions I ask in my employee recognition/feeling valued survey.

1. What types of personal hobbies or interests do you like to talk about the most?

2. At work, what increases your happiness or creates positive emotion the most?

3. Who do you like to receive recognition or praise at work from the most? (e.g. peers, manager, senior leaders, customers)

4. How do you like be recognized? (e.g. public, privately)

5. What types of recognition motivates you the most? Do you like gifts, a heartfelt email or card, call, trophy/certificate or something else?

6. Tell me about the greatest recognition you ever received? Why was it so great?

I have personally had a lot of success in administering this survey and tool to many on my teams through the years. Employee recognition needs to be personal. The more personal it is, the more employees will feel valued.

Let me know what you think. Do you think this tool can help you understand your staff better in terms of employee recognition? Do you feel that customizing employee recognition will result in employees feeling more valued?

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Leave a Comment

  • Cassie Sacks June 26, 2012, 9:42 pm

    Very true Mike as I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs “People are motivated and de-motivated fundamentally for the same reasons. The primary motivator is self achievement. You accomplish self achievement when you feel valued by your manager and co-workers.”

  • Donald Hoock June 26, 2012, 9:43 pm

    Agree!! Using the employee’s first name, addressing specific accomplishments, sincerely showing appreciation (recognition) and thankfulness for their contributions toward successes = feeling of value… no better feeling in the workplace… feeling valued. This feeling isn’t to come from just seniors (The Manager and above) but Peer Appreciation (recognition), I believe, is even more powerful. Thank you Mike for the reminder of showing our appreciation to our co-workers (team members) each and every day.

  • Dannette Hansen June 26, 2012, 9:44 pm

    I was reading the book “Fish” and my boss saw me reading it. This supervisor tells me what a fantastic book it was and that I’ll enjoy it. I still wonder to this day why this supervisor didn’t use any of the techniques to improve the moral of the department. The book is very good and I tried to make things better in the department before i left. I understand moral is very very low since I left.

  • Ronald Larkin, CPA June 26, 2012, 9:45 pm

    I have found that many people just want to be publicly recognized. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, but just done publicly. That recognition before there peers and management goes a long way toward good company morale.

  • Mark Macy August 21, 2013, 6:59 am

    Mike…Excellent point! Leadership/Management takes a lot of energy if you want to be the best. Thanks for reminding us that “one size does not fit all”!


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