Transform Your Workplace Ep. 04 – How to Give Meaningful Recognition at Work

Transform Your Workplace Ep. 04 – How to Give Meaningful Recognition at Work

Taking a moment to express your appreciation for your coworkers and employees is a great, simple way to show those people you value them and their work. A little bit of awareness and discipline on your part can have a significant impact on people’s workplace experiences.

To really be effective, though, this feedback must be genuine. A straightforward way to craft meaningful recognition is to follow the D.E.S.C. model:

Describe the behavior using specifics examples. Being specific will mean more, as it will show the person that you were paying attention.

Explain the impact the behavior has on you, others, and the business. No need to be shy with this! A direct compliment will have a stronger positive effect than one couched in jokes or downplayed.

State what you need. Encourage the person to keep up the behavior or action. A simple “Keep it up!” usually does the trick here.

Create an agreement through dialogue to further encourage the person’s strengths. This step isn’t always needed, but if you have ideas for ways to leverage that person’s strengths further, feel free to bring them up here. Engaging them in the brainstorming process is another way to show that you trust and value their input. It’s possible they already have ideas for furthering their impact!

Here’s what the D.E.S.C. model can look like in action:

(Describe) When I arrived at work yesterday to discover that you had decorated my office for my work anniversary,

(Impact) I felt so appreciated and grateful to be part of the team.

(State need) Your actions inspire others to give recognition and serve as a great example for our culture. Keep it up!

(Create agreement) I am interested in your ideas for how we can increase this type of recognition throughout the company. What do you think?

Watch Episode 04 of Transform Your Workplace



BONUS: Watch the full role play of Suzi Alligood giving meaningful recognition to Brandon Laws.

PS – We can teach your employees how to give meaningful recognition, so that employees are having productive conversations and your culture thrives. Check out Xenium’s web coursesin-person workshops, or contact us regarding onsite training for your entire staff.

Suzi Wear

A valued member of Xenium’s Senior Leadership team, Suzi gives clients the guidance they need to be better employers. With over 18 years of experience in human resource management, Suzi has provided her expertise to clients across a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, nonprofit, retail and professional services. As VP of People Development and Culture, Suzi oversees Xenium’s training and development programs, regularly leading workshops and seminars for business owners, managers and human resource professionals throughout the Northwest.