Fostering Excellence
Bringing out the best in each of us
There are many ways to improve your organization’s competitive edge: training, innovation, effective outreach etc.  Of course, one of the best ways is improving the quality of work life for your employees. Ultimately, any success your organization will have is their success. Your employees complete the tasks that move your organization forward and fulfill its vision. Your employees are your most valuable resource.

As a leader, the work environment you set for them is critical to their and your success. Caustic or even uncomfortable work environments can drive away talent and undermine the human capital of your teams. You owe it to your organization and employees to have the best work environment possible and one key component of a healthy, nurturing, and positive work environment is to saturate it with praise and recognition. Having an organization that recognizes the positive contributions of its employees takes some effort (not as much as you would think!) and is well worth the effort:  





7 Easy Ways to Saturate Your Organization with Positivity
  
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Wall of Fame – Setting up a ‘Wall of Fame’ in your workplaces is an easy way to recognize the excellence of your employees. Pictures of employees who have met company milestones such as years of service, sales goals etc demonstrate that you care, that you notice and that the employees matter to the company. Set aside some space in your office area and start recognizing your best!

Impromptu Praise – Informal praise is probably more important that formal praise.  It is important for leaders to ‘catch their employees’ being excellent. Make it a point as your circulate through your company to notice when employees are excelling or putting forth exceptional efforts. When you find it, praise it-immediately. Administering the praise in the moment will reinforce those behaviors and you will not have lost the opportunity to recognize the employee.

Saturate Social Media with Praise – Increasingly, employees are on social media and so are the companies they work for. Using social media venues to praise your employees (remember to tag them!) will highlight their success in front of their coworkers, families and friends. They deserve the recognition and the limelight. Make them the focus of your social media posts and they won’t forget it.

Second-hand Compliments – Throughout your work week you are bound to receive compliments about coworkers, from other coworkers. A positive work environment where recognition is freely given by leadership simply breeds these types of behaviors. When you receive these compliments about a third party, pass that praise on. Second-hand compliments are more genuine than first-hand compliments and they will be appreciated. Moreover, you will nurture peer-praising by passing these compliments on.

Highlights in Company Newsletters – Recognizing your employees in company newsletters is an easy way to increase praise in your organization. Odds are you already have a newsletter; carving out some space for recognition should be hassle-free and will be well worth the effort.

Leverage Formal Company Recognition Programs – Does your company have an “Employee of the Month” or similar program? If so, be sure to use it! Recognition programs which exist, but that are not used, can cause more harm to an organization than if they did not exist at all. These types of programs are fantastic ways to spread praise and nurture positivity. Use the programs you have; if you need a program, seek assistance and build one!

Submit Employees for Industry Awards – If the industry you work in has industry awards, recognition programs that transcend any one company, consider submitting your best employees for these awards. It will bring credit to your company as well as recognize the well-deserved accomplishments of your employees.
  

Recognition and Teamwork

Elements of a Good Recognition Program

Principles for Outstanding
Award Justifications

Products and Services

A positive work environment is one of your most important competitive advantages. Saturating your work place with recognition is one way to substantially increase the positivity of your environment. Take steps today to deliberately infuse your work place with more recognition and watch your employees thrive and excel!

Do you need help with a review of your recognition program, or do you need help creating one? Do you need assistance drafting an award justification? I would love to assist you! I can be contacted at fosteringexcellence101@gmail.com.

Michael Farr, PMP, is a Chief Master Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force and founder of Fosteringexcellence.org. He is passionate about recognition and enabling professionals to motivate their organizations through recognizing their member’s excellence. When he is not slaying dragons with his kids, he can be found at @fosterxcellence on Twitter, @fosteringexcellence on Facebook, and @fosteringexcellen on Instagram.