An important leadership skill for all those who manage others is knowing how to recognize and reward employee accomplishments. Effective leadership training will teach new and even experienced leaders that one of the most important leadership skills they can demonstrate is encouraging their employees by showing appreciation for individual achievement, and also by celebrating victories together as a group.
Recognizing individuals’ contributions to the success of the organization let the employee know that they are valued, appreciated, and that their hard work matters. How a leader provides recognition should really depend on the individual being recognized: do they like the spotlight and get a kick out of being publicly recognized? Or, perhaps they would prefer a private “great job”? Tailor your recognition to your employees’ preferences.
Here are some fun ideas: do a public “shout out” of the employee’s success either at a team meeting or via email or internal social media, bring the employee flowers or a cupcake, let the employee leave a couple of hours early on a day of their choosing, give a $5 coffee gift certificate, or bring in the employee’s favorite mocha one morning. Another idea is to hold a team, department or company lunch (depending on the size of your organization), and let the honored employee choose the restaurant.
You can also demonstrate good leadership skills by celebrating together as a team to recognize group victories and build a sense of community. Some fun ideas for team celebrations include employee recognition days, team outings to a restaurant, ballgame, or park, or a week of daily themed activities such as employee Olympics or “secret Santa” gift exchanges. Team celebrations need not cost much – they can be done during team meetings and can simply include words of appreciation and recognition from the leader, along with some clapping and cheering. Similarly, everyone could be rewarded with an additional hour for their lunch break, or by getting to leave work early some Friday. Whatever your choice, celebrations inspire a spirit of community and build team camaraderie.
The better you know your employees, the easier it is to personalize your individual recognition to them. So get to know your employees and learn how they like to be motivated and recognized.
Effective leadership training can help you or your organization’s leaders build basic leadership skills like building trust, modeling the behavior they expect, delegating to and mentoring others, inspiring and motivating action, and recognizing and rewarding achievements. The Leadership Challenge, 3rd Edition is a bestselling leadership training video teaches that being a great leader comes down to doing 5 things well, and each competency is featured in a case study. One of those competencies is Encouraging the Heart, which was also made into a separate video training program about mastering one of the most valuable leadership skills of all: employee recognition and appreciation. Both videos feature best-selling authors leadership experts Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner.