Jill Christensen
Jill ChristensenAuthor Blogger
Jill Christensen is a guest blogger for EmpowerPoints, an employee engagement expert, best-selling author, and international keynote speaker. She is a Top 100 Global Employee Engagement Influencer, authored the best-selling book, If Not You, Who?, and works with the best and brightest global leaders to improve productivity and retention, customer satisfaction, and revenue growth by re-engaging employees. Jill’s Website | LinkedIn Profile

People ask me all the time, “What is the No. 1 thing managers can do to catapult employee engagement?”  My response?  “Recognition is the jet fuel behind employee engagement.”

However, one of the biggest mistakes organizations make is they expect managers to do certain things to be a good leaders, but they don’t communicate those expectations to managers or give them the necessary training and tools.

I believe that leaders are born, not made.  I think a person comes out of their mother’s womb with a leadership chip in them or not.  Meaning, they have innate skills to lead that other people were not born with.  Can everyone improve as a leader with motivation and the proper training (even people who are not born with a leadership chip)?  Yes, but organizations must provide adequate training and development opportunities for managers, and many do not.  Currently, 58 percent of managers say they have never received management training.  A shocking statistic.

So how do you provide effective recognition?  It must be genuine, timely, and specific. In addition, the most successful managers engage in a dialogue with each of their direct reports to understand what type of recognition the employee would appreciate (a day off, a gift card, a thank you, for instance), and whether they like public or private accolades.

What Can I Do? Begin recognizing workers using the GTS model: Genuine, Timely, and Specific. Also, set-up 10-minute sessions with each of your direct reports to understand what type of recognition the employee would appreciate, and whether they want to be recognized privately or publicly. Finally, consider automating recognition in your organization by turning to a proven expert, like EmpowerPoints.  Your employees will love you for it.