Everyone wants to be recognized for their hard work. A strong leader knows how to recognize team members without causing jealousy or lessening the value of the praise.
Recognizing team members is so important for strengthening the team. Happy team members are more productive, more creative, and more willing to take creative risks. Happy team members are also more reliable, with less absences. Competition is healthier and productive and problem solving is open and creative. In short, recognition works!
But how do you recognize team members without causing jealousy? Of course, no one can predict the complete absence of jealousy, but when recognition becomes a regular part of the environment, it will become know that each person will eventually be recognized.
1. Recognize one person at each staff meeting. Tell a story about what you saw this person doing, then have the team member speak briefly about his/her plan. Then, have this person provide a short training or info session about their plan.
2. Sticky notes - I observe a lot of teachers who cannot be interrupted at the time I notice something. So, I leave a sticky note where they can find it later. Just a brief note: I liked the way you complimented the child reading to another. We expect children to "use their words", now it's time for us to use ours, too.
3. Know everyone's strengths. What are your team members good at? What are their passions? This is actually a great question to ask at interviews. Then, once the person is hired, have them share that strength, passion with the other team members. Everyone likes to feel like an expert!
Take the time to know your team members, point out their strengths and how you appreciate them, and you will be on the way to building a strong, productive, loyal team.
For more great tips, these books are great: