Best Practices 

Back to Recognition

How to write a meaningful, impactful recognition

Be specific.

Notice when your team members and peers are doing something well and make sure they know exactly what they did that was so great. Your message should outline the results they contributed to and explain why it was worthy of recognition. This will make them more likely to repeat the behaviour.

Be timely.

Recognize someone as soon as you can after their contribution or accomplishment. As more time passes, your recognition loses impact.

Consider your words.

Language has tremendous power. Choose your words carefully and make your message brief but sincere. Include words like “because” and “as a result” to transition from action to success. As a rule of thumb, try to avoid only sending recognition that says “Thanks for all you do.”

Connect to the bigger picture.

Use recognition to help employees see that they are valued and an integral part of the success of their team, their department, and the institution overall. Wherever possible link recognition to departmental values and mission.

Equal opportunity.

Aim to have each member of your team be recognized about once a week, and at minimum once per month. Remember that recognitions can come from a peer, a leader, or a client.

Recognize leaders who recognize.

Help increase employee engagement by giving recognition to team members who lead by example and support a “recognition rich” culture.

Say thank you.

Make sure somewhere in your message you include the word “thanks” or “thank you.”