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How To Effectively Give Team Recognition

Livia Jenvey |  October 15, 2018

Do you struggle giving your team effective recognition?

Are you confused on what type of recognition to give your team?

Have you tried various types of recognitions that seemed to not work with your team? 

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you are not alone.  When I work with clients in helping them develop a new team recognition strategy, one of the biggest things I work with is changing the ‘what’ that is being recognized

See, where the confusion often lies, is managers think what they must recognize is the action.  However what you really want to recognize described by Ikujir┼Ź Nonaka in the book Knowledge Management: Critical Perspectives on Business and Management, Volume 2 is theIntellectual and Emotional Recognitionof each person involved in your business team.  Meaning you want to recognize the thoughts & individual values of the people who did that action, not the action itself.


When a person is recognized for the thought process and their personal skills used to get an action done, they feel that they have recognized for both their intellectual knowledge and emotional worth.  This means that they feel they are recognized for their intelligence and personal value. When you provide team recognition it is important to recognize how each individuals’ intelligence and personal value contributed to the success of achieving a goal. This keeps your teams spirits high because each team member feels they are an equal contributor to the whole team due to their personal intelligence & skills working together.

The goal for managers is to recognize their team for both these traits to keep their workforce engaged, continue to give all to their job, and less likely to look for the next opportunity out the door.

One exercise I give to my clients to help them implement this new recognition strategy is the following:

Step 1 – Select A Specific Team Project

Choose a Successful Project that Your Team Finished. Preferably one which was finished recently.


Step 2 – Note Who Contributed 

Write down one thing each Individual involved in that project did that was intelligent & skillful to the projects success. For example, Ted contributed to the projects success for thinking of using a different vendor (intelligence) and his ability to negotiate the vendor pricing to keep the costs low (value).


Step 3 – Meet & Review With Team

Once you have completed this for all individuals, schedule a meeting with your team to review the project.  Share with team how each team member contributed intelligence and value to the project’s success.


Try this exercise out today, to effectively give your team recognition for a job well done!


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