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How to Recognize Employees in Today's Environment

The first sentence in my new book, The Currency of Gratitude (Available April 13th) starts like this: Common courtesy is not so common anymore. This is even more relevant today, one year into a pandemic that has thrown us all the ultimate curveball. It is fair to feel like you’re still struggling to navigate your day-to-day responsibilities.  

Nevertheless, the need for recognition has never been higher and a moment of gratitude from a colleague or leader can go a long way to boost morale. 

Here are a few tips on how to recognize your employees and clients in today’s environment. 

#1 – Make it Personal 

Building a relationship with those you work with takes time and energy; two things that may feel in short supply. But building a strong personal relationship can pay off and will allow you to understand when moments of gratitude are needed. 

Personal milestones like birthdays and work anniversaries are important to your staff and recognizing these can go a long way in building relationships. The more time you take to build a relationship with co-workers, the more chances you will have to celebrate those milestones together. 

#2 – Find New Ways to Say Thank You

With limited face-to-face interaction between teams, it can be hard to express gratitude in today’s work environment. There are no high-fives, handshakes, or fist bumps when you are working in isolation. Therefore, we need to get creative in how we show our gratitude and recognize our teams. Here are a few ideas you can start doing immediately: 

  • Zoom Happy Hours
  • Thank you cards (The My Big Idea Planner comes with some fantastic Thank You Cards). 
  • 1 on 1 meetings (Leave the agenda at the door) 
  • Surprise them with a birthday card or gift 

#3 – Don’t diminish the weight of spontaneous recognition. 

Every interaction you have with your team or clients is an opportunity to recognize that things are different and to show appreciation for the situation we are in. Recognition does not always need to come in the form of a plaque or salary increase (though they are nice). Taking an extra minute or two after a conference call to say “good job” and to point out some strengths will keep morale high and build confidence in your team. 

Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing Agency and My Big Idea®. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.

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