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by Roy Saunderson | September 09, 2014
Typically, we think of obsessiveness in a negative or abnormal way. But this month's Top 10 is about being preoccupied with getting recognition right in the eyes of the receiver. If we only put more thought into how and why we are acknowledging someone, it would pay dividends. Let's all put more care and effort into what we do with these Top 10 Obsessions for Getting Recognition Right.
 
1. Obsess over personalizing. How can you tailor the recognition so it is perceived as unique and special to the recipient? Let technology assist you in getting above the mundane and finding out frequency of preferences and then delivering on what people really want.
 
2. Obsess over knowing. Do you really know your employees well enough to surprise them? It means going beyond a simple checklist of a person's preferences and extending what you have learned about a person to create excellence. Become a sleuth in finding out clues to what people really love.
 
3. Obsess over delivery. If you don't know whether an employee wishes you would give them private recognition over public, find out! Research shows that between 20 percent and 25 percent of employees do not want public recognition. Learn to give recognition just the way a person likes it.
 
4. Obsess over relationships. What do employees think about you and their peers? Social science reveals that when there is a positive relationship between employees and their manager, the recognition given to others is perceived more positively. Negatively perceived relationships equal poor recognition
 
5. Obsess over celebrating. Get out of the mode of just "presenting" recognition. Pull out the stops and start celebrating outstanding people and their actions. Create the right recognition environment by drawing upon the five senses to trigger an emotional and celebratory feeling for the recipients.
 
6. Obsess over respecting. Before you can have any real or authentically perceived recognition happening with employees, you must first have values like courtesy and respect being lived well. When you are kind, courteous, and respectful, recognition happens automatically and naturally.
 
7. Obsess over value. Doug Conant, former Campbell's Soup CEO, says, "The harder you work to make people feel valued, the harder they will work for the enterprise." How can you fully validate the value of a person's contributions? Furthermore, is the recognition you're giving valuable in their eyes?
 
8. Obsess over equity. Fairness with recognition will always be judged in the eyes of the receiver. Your job is to eliminate this variable from their minds. Ensure what is given is commensurate with the actions or achievement. Clearly qualify the criteria by how someone is judged to be the best of the best.
 
9. Obsess over details. It will be always the little things that can either make or break a recognition experience. Do you have checklists in place or being created to help get rid of the ordinary necessities? Make sure they are followed precisely so you can concentrate on the extra special items.
 
10. Obsess over them. How can you show the recipient this recognition moment is totally about them, and not about you or the company? From the minute he or she arrives, to seating arrangements, the special people present, and recording memories, you must carefully orchestrate the recognition experience.
 
Incentive columnist Roy Saunderson is author of Giving the Real Recognition Way and Chief Learning Officer of Rideau's Recognition Management Institute, a consulting a training company which helps leaders and managers get recognition right. He can be reached at RoySaunderson@Rideau.com. Also, check out the library of Real Recognition Radio shows.