Employee Recognition Matters By Glenda Strickland

What drives you to wake up every morning, bear traffic, sit at a desk for 8 hours a day, sit through more traffic to go home just to wake up and do the same thing all over again tomorrow? Maybe it is the love of your job, the paycheck you receive or the dire need for routine responsibilities on a daily basis. While most people have differing reasons the most likely answer to this question is, they feel appreciated for the work they do and the contributions and loyalty to their employer whether it be from a CEO, manager or coworker.

According to Donald O. Clifton, author of “How Full Is Your Bucket?” employee recognition is the driving force behind most employee’s willingness to stay at a company. It increases productivity and engagement among colleagues and it enforces better customer service.

One way to create a culture of praise and appreciation is to develop day to day recognition for employees. Mike Byam, Managing Partner of Terryberry Company details in his book, “The Wow! Workplace” a few general themes that help to establish this type of atmosphere. These include [excerpted from “The Wow! Workplace”]:

  • Managers should train themselves to become praise professionals. Building a productive working relationship requires that managers take the time to notice when employees are doing the right things instead of just when things go wrong.
  • Instead of waiting to learn about major employee contributions, managers should become proactive and spend part of each working day searching out employees’ contributions that they can reward on the spot.
  • Encouraging coworkers to applaud and recognize helpful contributions.

Developing a new culture, especially in the workplace, isn’t always the easiest task for anybody to take on however, recognition is infectious and once the culture begins to change you will start to notice increased morale, positive emotions, and eventually self-reinforcement. So the next time we notice our colleague doing something to help our team, acknowledge their effort and hard work it may be the catalyst for the change we want to see!

Leaders Are Not Always at the Top

Leaders do not have to be outgoing, success-driven and positioned at the top of the organizational chart.  Many of today’s leaders are reserved, energized by failure and have roles all over the organizational chart.    Yes, these leaders are powerful; however, their strength and influence come from the inside out, not the other way around.

Tips to keep in mind to help you succeed as a leader:

  • Accept failure: Failure is the stepping stone of success
  • Embrace who you are: Self –knowledge is critical.  If you are an introvert do not try to be an extrovert.  Use the strength you already have.
  • Build relationships early: Be a team player on a regular basis, don’t wait until you are looking for a win.
  • Question everything: Ask yourself and others; If you had my job, what would you do?
  • Find people who challenge you: Include team members who play devil’s advocate.
  • Take initiative: If there is something you want, speak up.

Inc.com “5 Habits of the Most Connected People” July 26, 2017, Andrew Thomas


Office Space = Productivity

Employees with privacy when they need (e.g. private office space) are 1.7 times more likely to be engaged in their work than other employees.

Employees with flexible worktime or a personal workspace are 1.4 times more likely to be engaged.

And employees with a door they may shut are 1.3 times more likely to be engaged.

HR Magazine “Office Space” December 2017/January 2018; Source: Gallup

Notable New Limits for 2018

  2017 2018
Taxable earning for Social Security $127,200 $128,700
Defined contribution plan maximum employee elective deferral $18,000 $18,500


Health flexible spending accounts annual contributions (individual) $2,600 $2,650


Health savings account annual contribution (family) $3,400 $3,450


HR Magazine “Out with the Old” December 2017/January 2018