Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.

You asked, Ken answers ...

This item is filed under these categories:
Recognition Feedback Motivation Incompetence

My manager advised me to pick a certain day every month and use that day to give my employees some recognition for their work. I can tell that he does the same thing, because he seems to show up every other Friday in our department to thank us for something. Is this a worthwhile step to take as a manager?

When it comes to recognition, a growing number of managers today recognize that positive feedback is most effective when directly linked to successful performance. If an employee demonstrates outstanding work, recognition from his or her manager can have a long-lasting motivational impact.

Importantly, there is a broad range of recognition that can be given, such as words of praise, letters, plaques, certificates, trips, money, and much more. Some of the best forms of recognition today are actually tailored to the needs of the individual employee, and in such cases, the motivational impact is even stronger.

Recognition that comes like clockwork tends to lose its meaning. When there is no link to behavior, there is no meaningful reason for an employee to repeat a particular action. And when everyone gets the same recognition at the same time, it is little more than background noise.

Some managers opt for this strategy because they tend to forget to give their employees any recognition at all. As a result, they put a reminder on their calendar, and the result is a monthly dose of thanks to the team. A better reminder is to be on the lookout every day for opportunities to provide employees with thanks, credit, and recognition.

Comment on this item

Your name (optional)
If you leave this blank, we'll list you as "Website visitor"

Your comments
Please keep your comments focused on the topic. Thanks!