e-Kudos E-mail and company intranets can help to build trust and develop positive work relationships. Consider these strategies for using them to recognize employees:
- Leave positive voice mail messages to thank others for something they have done well. A great voice mail (from a client or customer) can be transcribed and distributed.
- When you send an e-mail praising someone, copy that person's manager or others in their department. When you get a positive e-mail about someone's performance, pass it on to others, or print it out and save the message to share at an upcoming staff meeting. Or, if appropriate, post the message in the department or company.
- Establish a practice of using your mobile phone for positive communication. For example, call to thank individuals you work with when you're traveling.
- Create a screen saver that has one or more messages reminding you to recognize people and performance in your department.
On the Web The Internet offers many opportunities for recognizing others. You can send employees virtual flowers, virtual greeting cards (see www.wildflower.com or www.Hallmark.com) or virtual postcards (see www.iVillage.AboutWork.com). Or order a book or gift on the Internet as a form of thanks.
Company intranets can also provide space for recognition. Hughes Networks in San Diego, Calif., created an "Applause" bulletin board on their intranet, which pops up when employees first log onto their computers. Anyone can post public praise on the electronic bulletin board, which most employees take a moment or two to read at the beginning of their work day.
Recognition Software A number of software packages can help you recognize others or set up a recognition program for your department or organization:
- Altour Incentive Management's Aspire is a software program to manage reward and incentive programs.
- Nelson Motivation offers a Reward Wizard that enables managers to create individualized motivation files on each employee and to select meaningful recognition and rewards.
- Baudville and Successories both offer certificate-making software and hundreds of styles of papers, seals, embossers and other items to help you recognize people instantly with customized and colorful certificates.
1. Use technology to connect - One of the greatest powers of technology is its ability to give people instant access to information and bind people together. Use it for this purpose - not just as a means to dump work on people.
2. Make it personal - When leaving voice mail or e-mail, be positive, specific, and sincere. Avoid the simple "good job" and embellish the praise with specifics of the performance.
3. Do it soon - Recognition is most effective when used immediately to reinforce desired behavior or performance. Make the most of the moment by using technology to thank others, even when they're not around.