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Cycle of Success: 25 employees you should recognise

As many would say, what goes around, comes around. What happens when you recognise an employee’s desired behaviour? You start a cycle of success, grounded in the science of behavioural economics. Let's talk about who you should be recognising within your team...

“Next to physical survival, the greatest need of a human being is psychological survival, to be understood, to be affirmed, to be validated, to be appreciated.” Stephen R. Covey

Starting a cycle of success grounded in the science of behavioural economics increases both engagement and performance within your organisation. It works a little something like this:

  • An employee did a great task or displayed the right behaviours you want to see in your organisation, you took the time to write a quick thank you for their work and effort.

  • The employee you recognised experiences the dopamine effect, a rush that is felt after something good happens. 

  • The employee will feel valued and appreciated, which leads to enhanced subjective well-being, or perceived happiness. A feeling of accomplishment. 

  • Your employee repeats the desired behaviour in order to feel the beneficial effects of recognition and in turn, becomes more engaged and motivated.

    The key to boosting your employees’ engagement – and your organisation’s long-term success – is to make a habit of recognising often and in a timely manner.

Recognising game-changing employees like these:

  1. The day brighteners. A cheerful, always-positive attitude helps build morale and energises your entire workforce.

  2. The organisers/planners. Who’s your go-to person for planning a celebration, virtual energiser for the team, or a special guest’s visit? An employee’s ability (and willingness) to plan and organise is definitely recognition worthy.

  3. The participators. Do you ever feel that half the battle is getting your employees to speak up? Recognise those who get the conversation started — and keep it going by engaging others.

  4. The-go-the-extra-milers. Be on the lookout for the employee who always does whatever it takes to get the job done — and done right.

  5. The volunteers. When you’re looking for volunteers, is there someone who’s always ready to jump in? The willingness to volunteer deserves some recognition.

  6. The mentors. Strong role models are invaluable assets, not only to the individuals they are guiding but also to your entire organisation.

  7. The accountables. There’s nothing like being able to rely on someone. Recognise those who always do what they say they’re going to do.

  8. The always on-time. People who are late are always noticed. Better to shine the light of recognition on those who are always on time, finish tasks on time and consistently meet deadlines.

  9. The recognisers. Those who regularly take time to praise others should be recognised for it.

  10. The initiative-takers. If something needs to be done, this person does it without being asked.

  11. The team players. Behaviours that make it easy to work well within a group are vital to employees’ individual and shared successes.

  12. The idea generators. Fresh ideas are the lifeblood of your organisation. Be sure to recognise employees who are always coming up with something new.

  13. The truth-tellers. These people always “tell it like it is,” sharing valuable information about day-to-day issues and allowing you to take care of little problems before they become big ones.

  14. The learners. Recognise those on your team who are always seeking out new skills and new ways of doing things. When your employees grow, your organisation does too.

  15. The adaptable. Times and circumstances change (deadlines, budgets, the marketplace) and the greatest employees are those who take change in their stride and remain positive.

  16. The energisers. Energy and enthusiasm are contagious and can motivate your entire workforce.

  17. The mediators. The ability to help resolve differences and unite those with opposing views is vital to an effective team. Be sure to recognise the peacemakers.

  18. The resilient. When the going gets tough, the tough get going − and the ability of these employees to stay strong and focused, no matter what, deserves recognition.

  19. The relentless. Don’t overlook the employee who never gives up, who works tenaciously to come up with a solution to a problem or to improve a process.

  20. The presenters. Recognise your top presenters for their skill at capturing the audience’s attention virtually or in person. Ensuring their audience is engaged and that the content is remembered. 

  21. The workhorses. Look for the employee who asks for more work instead of lingering over current work or sitting idle.

  22. The responsible. The responsible employee doesn’t shy away from admitting mistakes or oversights — a valuable behaviour that allows you to understand the problem and prevent it from reoccurring.

  23. The analysts. Be sure to single out your analytical pros, the problem-solvers who take time to think things through and consider the pros and cons before moving forward.

  24. The goal-setters. Recognise those who set personal goals and work toward them – the ones who are never satisfied with the status quo.

  25. The communicators. You can rely on employees with excellent oral and written communication skills to facilitate understanding of issues and communicate compelling ideas. They’re an asset to your entire organisation and their skills should be applauded.

Recognising employees is a positive way to help set the standards and values you empower your organisation to aspire to. Improving performance, reducing turnover and retaining your top talent.

Sound good? Let's talk about employee reward and recognition programmes

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