I’m a proud mother. Recently we attended our daughter’s college graduation and we celebrated for 4 days! It may have seemed excessive, but 4 days to recognize 4 years of hard work – now actually seems a little light!

How important is celebration and recognition? Very important. Based on Gallup research, one of the core elements needed to attract, focus, and keep your most talented employees is that they receive recognition or praise for doing good work every seven days! I know many leaders who think this is excessive. But the data has proven differently.

Acknowledging people’s hard work and efforts along the way – not just at the end of a project or journey – keeps people engaged. It shows we care. It shows people that they matter – that their work is important. We all want to know that our work – and our efforts – are making a difference. And as a by-product, it creates conversation – important conversation.

I certainly didn’t wait 4 years to talk with my daughter about her college experience.

  • I kept conversation going along the way.
  • I provided encouragement when needed, guidance when sought (probably not as often as I would have liked), and
  • I recognized her accomplishments throughout each semester.

If you ask her, I believe she would say these conversations made a difference. They helped her know that her hard work mattered, and that we believed she could accomplish her goals. Yes, there were bumps along the way, but our conversations didn’t focus on the bumps. Instead we focused on the good work she was doing and looking ahead – with excitement – to the next challenge she was facing.

So as a leader of people, don’t wait. People need encouragement, recognition and celebrations as a critical part of their journey.

Acknowledge the day-to-day, week-to-week achievements that lead to the bigger successes each year. Use these conversations as openings for learnings, and look ahead to new opportunities.

Know you are doing a great job when you celebrate the good stuff along the way!

Take action:

  • What successes do you need to celebrate?
  • What actions do you want to acknowledge?
  • What 7-day routine do you want to create to insure you routinely acknowledge the good work being done?
  • Read Gallup article: Employee Recognition: Low Cost, High Impact