How to Recognize Your Employees, 5 Days a Week

The president of our company has a recognition ritual that I’m sure happens in a lot of smaller offices -- on Friday afternoons, she visits and chats with employees. It’s casual and brief, and usually gets everyone feeling good before the weekend. Solid recognition near closing time on a Friday can make the work week seem far behind you. Many of our internal departments also have a weekly ritual of some kind. Not always on Friday, but it's a regular recognition opportunity nonetheless.

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Ideally, we want recognition to occur every day. A disengaged employee is four times more likely to say they received too little recognition at work, so every day is an opportunity to change that perception. Weekly recognition rituals can be fun things for employees to look forward to, and consistency is great for building trust.

I use a Recognition Days of the Week calendar I’ve pieced together from my experiences here to make sure I have at least five recognition touch points per week. It’s easy to remember, and anyone can use it:

1. Happy Monday

You can mitigate the Monday blues with small gestures that spread happiness. In our office, Happy Monday means buying donuts and coffee for everyone, or sending out awards for the previous week’s accomplishments through our recognition system.

2. Super Tuesday

Tuesdays can become a slogging day as the week ramps up. Try your best to give employees a peaceful environment, offer support on any projects they may be working on, buy snacks in the middle of the day or treat them to lunch. Generally, be a super boss.

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3. Win Wednesday

Our customer experience team has had great success with Win Wednesdays, a short group meeting each week where recent wins -- i.e. customer interactions; professional and personal achievements -- are called out and given proper recognition. This is an excellent camaraderie builder.

4. Thank You Thursday

Remember to give a colleague a thank you for something they’ve helped out on that week, big or small. If for some reason you can’t think of anything, just thank them for being around. Do it in person, leave a handwritten note or send an email. However you do it, be sincere.

5. Friendly Friday

This one’s easy -- just be friendly. At the end of the day, make the rounds, thank everyone for the week’s work, ask about weekend plans, take an interest and give a hoot. If someone’s got big plans, send them home early if it’s an option.

Whether you do all or some of these company-wide or departmentally, all that matters is that you’ve given yourself an easy way to make recognition a feature of your culture. If you are having trouble finding the time to thank all the people you should thank, a weekly ritual can lend structure and keep you on track.

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