The power of consistent recognition

Recognition can be incredibly addicting – but the good kind of addiction, because being recognized once is never enough.

When you recognize an employee on-the-spot for a job well done, it can be very powerful. This type of recognition is powerful because the employee receives timely, specific and meaningful feedback, which reinforces that the certain behavior should be repeated.  However, if that same behavior is repeated and does not receive timely recognition, it is likely that the initiative will fall flat. So what’s the problem?

Recognition reinforces the right behaviors that are attributed to goals and success. Recognition must be consistent or regular in order to have a powerful impact on employee behavior. According to Gallup’s research, employees need some form of recognition at least once every seven days. Consistent repetition is the key, so that employees understand what type of behavior leads to success.

Consistency positively impacts the ability to drive results or execute an initiative to completion. It requires discipline and the desire to achieve. You might say organizations depend on it.

In the recent article, Power of Consistency: 5 Rules, Eric Holtzclaw suggests that consistency is the difference between failure and success. With respect to recognition and influencing repeat behavior, here are five rules to inspire consistency:

  1. Consistency allows for measurement

How do you measure effectiveness if what you are measuring isn’t performed consistently? Measure employees with clearly communicated goals and objectives and then provide consistent recognition or constructive feedback, on a timely basis, to coach their progress and inspire them to drive results.

  1. Consistency creates accountability

Top employees have an inherent need to perform and achieve, and they are motivated to take ownership and be accountable for their deliverables and goals. Create regular check-ins between employees and managers to discuss progress and roadblocks. Consistent communication will keep employees accountable, and they will be more likely to deliver results.

  1. Consistency establishes your reputation

Business growth requires a track record of success, and you can’t establish a track record if you are constantly shifting gears. Recognize employees with a consistent track record of success, which will inspire other employees to exhibit similar behaviors. If you thank top employees for consistently performing communicated objectives, they are more likely to repeat the behavior.

  1. Consistency makes you relevant

Having a constant flow of communication to your employees and customers is important, because it makes your brand relevant and eventually achieves traction. Employees should consistently focus on initiatives that are relevant to drive business results.

  1. Consistency maintains your message

Practice what you preach. Employees notice that actions speak louder than words, especially from leadership. Employees’ motivation, inspiration, and willingness to go the extra mile depend on consistent corporate messaging and the company’s ability to follow-through on established employee value propositions. Employees will not exhibit the right behaviors for success without consistent messaging to drive their achievements.

The phrase, “old habits die hard,” rings true because people find it difficult to change their accustomed behavior, unless they receive consistent feedback to do otherwise. This is why consistent recognition is important, because it positively influences the right behaviors for success.

Which of these 5 rules do you think are the most important to drive business results?


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