Human beings do best when they complete their tasks and gain a sense of accomplishment. Study after study confirms this. We like to know what we do makes a difference, that it matters, and that we’ve done our best. Whether it’s gazing proudly at a completed product, finishing a written document, or helping a customer make the best decision for their needs, what we do isn’t as important as how we do it.

Let’s face it; many people could do most jobs. Take my job, I write, administrate social media, and teach leadership. Sounds pretty specialized, doesn’t it? It is. However, in 2010 when I began writing blogs for TKO Graphix I hardly knew what a blog was. Many others could do my job, but here’s my point. When I do my best, there might be others that could do my job, but not as many who could do it as well as I, and that makes me feel pretty darn good.

How to Recognize your Personal Accomplishments

When we have a feeling of accomplishment we’re not only happy and satisfied, we feel better about who we are and what we do. That carries over. It carries over into other parts of our job and our life. We want that sense of accomplishment to continue; we want to repeat the actions that led to our successes. It makes us higher performers and better teammates. The key is to track and recognize your accomplishments daily. At the end of every day take five minutes (really, that’s all you need) and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What was my biggest accomplishment today?
  • What did do I today that moved me closer to my goals?
  • Who did I help and how did I help them?
  • How did I help my organization be better, stronger, or more profitable today?
  • What activities made me happy today?
  • How can I repeat this?

When to Recognize Accomplishments of Others

Too often organizations limit the recognition of accomplishments to predictable preset milestones such as tenure, training, or promotions, but there is so much more that can be recognized. And here’s why this is so important. People want recognition, and they will often repeat the activities that earned them the recognition. Sounds like a good management plan to me. What do you think? Here are a few achievements that should be recognized, 10 Times to Recognize Employees.

How to Recognize Employees

Say Thank You

If you want positive behaviors repeated then recognize specific behaviors. While it’s okay to say “Good Job!” it’s so much more meaningful to say, “Great work on the ABC project, I thought it was brilliant how you handled the widgets!” Giving a specific activity based compliment reinforces the behavior. How Recognizing Employees Helps an Organization

Write a Note

I have several handwritten notes on my desk. One is five years old and has a one dollar bill attached to it. I received the thank you card for advice I’d given a friend. I have a letter from a mentee thanking me for my help and direction. And another is a personal card inviting me to an event; I’m going. When’s the last time you received a note, letter, or card thanking you for something you’ve done?  Are you too lazy to Send Thank You Cards?

Give a Lasting Gift

My wife and I recently took a ten-day driving tour of the Southwest. It was wonderful. Not only did I have ten days with my best friend touring some of the most awe-inspiring scenery in the world, but I didn’t take work with me. It was the first time in seven years I didn’t spend a couple hours a day administrating social media and WordPress. Thank You, Taylor Hurley! I came back with a gift specially chosen for her. You can do the same, and if you’re uncertain what to give here are hundreds of ideas, Recognition Promotional Products.

Take some time every day to review your accomplishments, recognize what others have achieved, and then say thank you. It not only reinforces behavior it feels pretty darn good.

Note: I wrote this on a Sunday afternoon while my wife was attending a committee meeting. It gave me a great sense of accomplishment!

Photo credit: Brad.K via / CC BY