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Without sincerity, appreciation and praise fall flat.

By September 21, 2015 May 6th, 2020 No Comments

Without sincerity, appreciation and praise fall flat.

So how do you recognise well and how do you coach others to do the same?

There are many principles of good, effective employee recognition. It should be timely, frequent, aligned with core values and objectives, calibrated to level of effort and contribution and involves everyone. But the most important is that the recognition is sincere.

Why is sincerity so important?

People can sniff out insincerity very quickly. A half-hearted or even well-intentioned but uninformed moment of praise falls flat because the gratitude isn’t real. It isn’t sincere. Think about wedding toasts you may have heard. The worst toasts, the ones that leave the wedding guests cringing, are those where the best man is focused on the audience the first, on getting a laugh, or setting himself up for praise. The best toasts, however, are the ones where the best man is totally focused on the newly married couple, concerned only with celebrating them and their love for each other.

So, when you implement your staff recognition program, make sure that the gift of gratitude and appreciation is sincere.

Here are three tips to keep in mind when delivering recognition:

1) Make it about them, not you. Always have the recipient at the heart of your message. Be sure to specify about what they did that you recognised, the exemplary way in which they did it, and the impact those efforts had on others.

2) Be detailed and personal. A casual, “Hey, thanks” or “Thanks for all you do” will just leave the recipient wondering, “Thanks for what?” and “Do you even know what I do?” Take an extra few minutes to share a truly personal moment with a detailed expression of gratitude to the recipient.

3) Put your heart into it – A top hallmark of sincerity is your own vulnerability, especially if you’re in a position of seniority over the recipient. The need for acknowledgment, praise and appreciation is deeply human. Show your humanity.

What might such a sincere message look like? Perhaps something like this: “John, your contribution to the team on preparing the project plan for the Jones project was the key in us being able to deliver the project ahead of schedule and under budget. I’ve come to rely on you over these last several months as someone whose commitment and passion not only helps the team achieve our targets, but makes our work together more fun and effective. I deeply appreciate that aspect of your personality and thank you for bringing your whole self to our team.”

Brownie Points help organisations deliver staff recognition programs with a measurable return on investment. To learn how we can help your business, call us today on 03 9909 7411 or email us at


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