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Staff Recognition & Retention

Special Events Do Not Equal Meaningful Staff Recognition

Service banquets. Awards ceremonies. Taking your staff to lunch. Designating special weeks to honour specific employee groups. Birthday parties. Company picnics.

These are all great things and are worth doing. Staff members appreciate and look forward to them. But these must not be seen as effective staff recognition practices, either individually or collectively. These are events, while recognition reflects an attitude.

Meaningful recognition does not occur during annual or monthly events. Recognition occurs daily, through simple, thoughtful acts and words that convey to staff that what they do is noticed, appreciated and valued.

Recognition comes from the heart, not the calendar. Recognition is being aware of what people do and taking every opportunity to let individuals know that they are valued for what they do.

Recognition is an attitude of appreciation translated into action and words. Recognition focuses on how people contribute to the organization. It requires that we are aware of what is going on around us. It requires that we observe and understand what others do. When we see what is done and recognize when it is done well, we able to let others know that we have seen them do well. We understand and appreciate the value of what they have done.

This feedback can be given in simple actions and words. There is no need for expensive gifts, cash rewards or special events. Waiting for an event to recognize someone means the magic of the moment is lost.

Recognition is not events. It is an attitude of wanting to see people do well, catching them doing well and letting them know specifically what they did well.

During his Staff Recognition & Retention seminars, Nelson Scott emphasizes the value of genuine, timely, specific, personalized and relevant recognition in making the organization more successful, increasing commitment, improving morale and reducing turnover.


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A professional trainer, speaker, and consultant since 1995, Nelson Scott works with organizations that are committed to making the right hiring decisions, developing and retaining productive staff, and strengthening relationships with customers.  Learn more by visiting or e-mailing


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