Saturday, July 24, 2010

Recognition: Say it and Show it

When it comes to recognition, you have to both say it and show it. Whether it is staff or volunteers, you need to recognize those doing the work of the organization. It doesn't matter if you are a church or nonprofit entity, even a small business. You need to recognize those who serve alongside of you, especially those under your supervision. It doesn't matter if they work on the front lines or behind the scenes. People need to know that you appreciate them.

What do I mean?

  • Say it: Recognize people for what they do and how they do it, for the time and effort that they dedicate to the work. People need to hear it from you and see it on your face when you say it. Don't let your face betray what's coming out of your mouth. Be honest and mean what you say. Don't dress it up. Just say it. Verbal is good, but you also need to write it down. Put it on the staff bulletin board or in the organizational newsletter as a spotlight. Place it as an agenda item on meetings with the label "Staff & Volunteer Recognitions" or something similar. Identify the person and the reason for the recognition.

  • Show it: You show people that you recognize them by what you do and how you do it. Make a fuss over them and celebrate their contributions. Present an award or certificate at meetings or special ceremonies. Get creative. Show your appreciation for them with a tribute via a PowerPoint slide show or video presentation with photos of and messages from clients, co-workers or other volunteers, and yourself as the leader. Present them with a copy on CD or DVD. Show them that you value their contribution.

Volunteering is oftentimes a thankless job. When you say and show your appreciation for what volunteers contribute to your organization, you say a lot. You have to see it from their perspective. They are offering things of value- their time, ideas, and service. Your appreciation may be their most rewarding compensation next to serving.

Always make your recognition of your people: Personal, Public and Purposeful. Be sure to let your appreciation be known to those who need to hear it and see it. You need to ensure that you show appreciation to the people who deserve it and in front of the people who need to know that you value hard work, dedication and people.

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