Recognizing your employees isn’t just a way to make them feel good, but can also boost productivity and retain talent, making it a win-win! But, if you’re a fan of The Office and familiar with the Dundies (the awards given out to employees at the fictional Dunder Mifflin office), you probably know that not all recognition is good recognition, and the wrong kind of recognition can completely backfire.
So, what’s the right way to do it? Basically, don’t do anything Michael Scott would. Stick to recognizing meaningful professional accomplishments, and keep it positive. Be thoughtful about what you’re recognizing an employee for, do it in a timely manner, and award them in a way that’s relevant and doesn’t feel like an empty gesture. Make sure the awards — and the event at which you’re handing them out — is about the employees, not the managers, and make sure that event offers employees a fun, memorable experience. You can find out more about the importance of employee recognition and see examples of what not to do in the graphic below.