Has anyone ever taken the time to recognize something you have done? What did that feel like? Would you want that feeling to happen again and again? Even if you are shy I think the answer is yes.

The same is also true for others.

Recognition matters

Have you noticed someone doing something that should be rewarded? Have you recognized them for this yet?

Like the TSA slogan – “If you see something, say something

Except unlike the TSA campaign – you don’t need to do it right away. You can pick and choose the time, format and place that works best for the person and the specific bit of recognition. One upside is that recognizing and rewarding actions, activities, successes and sometimes failures is a skill that you can master.

As you start to master it you will start to recognize something in yourself. As your skills at recognizing and rewarding greatness increase, your ability to get more done while working with others will also increase. By recognizing and rewarding the actions of others you will likely find that you begin to exhibit better communication and leadership skills as well as a more authentic way of interacting with others. Which compounds upon itself ever time you recognize and reward another bit of greatness.

Recognize and reward

The actual recognition and rewards can come in different forms and at different times. So, there is no need to jump up at the moment some great act was accomplished or observed. Recognize and reward at a time that works for all parties.

A few example of awards. Notice there is a common thread to each of these:

  • Andy Grove of Intel was famous (or infamous depending upon the content) for sending AndyGrams. His “Andygrams” were often handwritten notes. Sometimes recognizing good and sometimes not. But, anyone that received one remembers and typically would keep them and display them for all to see.
  • One company I worked for invented The Golden Sparkplug Award. It was an inexpensive and hand-made “trophy” that everyone WANTED to receive. It was up to the last recipient to identify and award the next winner. There was often a lot of pomp and circumstance with each new award.
  • A friend that does training gives out stuffed animals to the people that have been trained and “certified” as experts. Anyone with one of these stuffed animals on their desk or door or wall was available to answer questions about the product and project.

Make it personal

People often value the personal element much more than cash. Sure, everyone likes a little extra in their pocket so they can take their sweetie somewhere nice or buy something just because they can. But there is nothing quite so memorable as a personalized reward and a bit of recognition.

For me I like to write notes by hand, as I wrote about here in The Power of the Pen.

As a little side bonus … When you Recognize Greatness on a regular basis you will start to be known for this and it will become part of your brand.

So, what have you seen lately that can be recognized and rewarded?


Jeff is a veteran in the Enterprise Content Management industry. Over the past 20 years he has worked with customers and partners to design, develop and deploy solutions around the world. Jeff is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances at Winshuttle. He has worked for Microsoft, FileNet (IBM), K2, Captaris, Open Text, Kofax and Kodak. He speaks and blogs about ECM and the Intersection between Social, Mobile and Cloud Computing.