Why it pays to recognize your colleagues

We all work with talented colleagues who regularly impress, help, and support us. Without these individuals, our day-to-day activities would be challenging and at times impossible.

These people are instrumental to our success, yet, we often forget to acknowledge them. Not only do our co-workers deserve the praise but recognizing a colleague also comes with many benefits.

The next time a teammate deserves recognition be sure to show your appreciation and reap some of these added rewards.

It feels good

We all need more “feel good” moments in the workplace.

Recognizing someone is a fast and easy way to accomplish this. The next time you find yourself feeling down and out consider writing a deserving colleague a “Thank You” note or calling a co-worker to give some positive feedback.

I always keep a variety of blank “Thank You” cards in my desk drawer. When I am having a bad day at work I like to pause and reflect on the people and things in the office I am most thankful for. I then write out a few cards and deliver them.

Putting a smile on my teammates’ faces is an instant cure for my bad day blues.

It’s a great networking opportunity

Recognizing someone presents a great way to meet new people. In addition to commending my colleagues directly, I make an effort to share the kudos with their manager. This has resulted in meeting dozens of people I may never have met.

Rather than sending an email I would suggest you set up a 15-minute phone call or live meeting with your colleague’s manager. This way you can acknowledge their employee, talk a bit about yourself and begin to establish a rapport.

It helps create a collaborative culture

An ideal work environment for most people is an atmosphere that is open, inspiring, motivating, and collective. Does this sound like a culture you want to be part of? If so, lead by example and help to create it!

Acknowledging a teammate’s success (especially if done in a team setting) helps set the tone of future group interactions. When I want to show my appreciation to a peer in a meeting, I typically reach out to the meeting organizer and team members in advance to get them on board. If you are going to take this approach, I would recommend buying a team “Thank You” card and having everyone in the group sign it.

Not only does getting everyone involved help foster a collaborative culture, but as an added advantage, people will look to you as a leader.

Others may pay it forward

Since you have gone above and beyond for your colleague it’s safe to assume they will at some point repay the nicety. This could be by going out of their way to help you, recognize you or just by doing something nice for you.

I have received everything from brownies to exceeding service to unexpected kudos all because I took a few minutes to commend someone who deserved the spotlight.

In addition to the personal gains associated with addressing someone’s achievements, showing appreciation also helps to build others’ engagement, confidence, and self-awareness. It’s a class act that is surely a win-win.

So who will you be recognizing today?

Danielle Clark is a human resources manager with more than 10 years of HR and customer service experience in healthcare and retail organizations. Her work with Fortune 500 companies, in addition to a diverse professional and academic background, has trained Clark to be results-driven, people-focused and a thought-provoking leader. Her goal is to educate and inspire professionals to change their way of thinking. She is also an adjunct professor, active community volunteer, wife, mother and passionate lifelong learner.

5 thoughts on “Why it pays to recognize your colleagues”

  1. This is so important! Thanks for sharing it, it would have made a great addition to a past post I had on “dealing with frustrating coworkers” – maybe one way to deal with people you don’t like is to show them things you DO appreciate about them. This is great!
    >> Sam from DIYJUSTCUZ

    1. Sam from DIYJUSTCUZ- Thanks for your feedback. I went to your blog and read your article on dealing with frustrating co-workers. You offer some great tips as well. You were spot on when you said, “As an employee it is your responsibility to make sure your coworkers are the best they can be for the good of the company.”

Leave a Reply