Hate Micromanaging? Try Employee Recognition!

A manager recently wrote:

“I am usually reminded that I haven’t been offering enough recognition  when an employee who especially craves recognition seeks me out on matters he generally sees to for himself.”

 I am often asked, “How much recognition is enough?” While there is no definitive answer, this manager has found a gauge that works for her. When this employee shows up in her office it means the team needs an infusion.

Why does employee self-initiative act as such a great indicator? Because employee recognition reduces the need for micro-managing. With enough recognition, people are confident and motivated. They know what you want, and they want to give it to you.

So many managers complain that people won’t think for themselves. These tend to be the same managers who think that recognition is a waste of their time. They believe they should focus on what is wrong in order to help people get better.

The manager who wrote this note knows better. She has experienced the direct correlation between self-initiative and recognition. When she sees a drop in that initiative she knows it is time spread a little appreciation around.

Copyright 2009 Cindy Ventrice


2 Responses to “Hate Micromanaging? Try Employee Recognition!”

  1. 1 Derek Irvine, Globoforce March 17, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Excellent post once again, Cindy. I blogged on a similar vein of managers who only recognize and act on the bad, never the good.

    With the pressures mounting on managers from all directions, it becomes harder to notice the good but so much easier to punish the bad. Conversely, because of increased pressure, employees need to know their efforts are appreciated all the more, especially if you want them to keep delivering at a high level of performance.

    More on this including research from the Financial Post and Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers here:

  2. 2 Pat June 28, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Unlike your manager, others haven’t yet build into their awareness the necessity of recognition.

    There is a strong correlation around specific recognition of employee’s contributions to their increased productivity. So, how do we give managers a crash course in focusing on recognition. Once-a-year performance reviews are not really for recognition, but rather for financial considerations.

    Like your manager, they need a signal that wakes them up immediately that they need to tend to their team members. Maybe managers take 10 minutes at the beginning or the end of their days to stop and think about what each of their direct reports have contributed to the day. Then take that information and let the employee know they are appreciated.

    Recognition is a discipline like any other priority we create in our lives.


Comments are currently closed.

My name is Cindy Ventrice. I am the author of the best-selling book Make Their Day! Employee Recognition That Works and the companion guide Recognition Strategies That Work.

My work has been quoted in The New York Times, Alaska Airlines Magazine, Workforce Magazine, and Tim Sanders' book The Likeability Factor.

Visit my website www.maketheirday.com today!

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