Estimated Read Time: 5 Minutes
I’m an awkward bird.
Yes, I have some sales experience and have worked with clients for many years; I also have made quite a few presentations and speeches in front on hundreds of people. However, if I haven’t mentally prepared myself, I typically feel off my game. This means my awkward duck self comes out, the dork that thinks to herself, “What the heck did you just say?” after some odd phrase pops out of my mouth. Trust me, I know better, but I still do it.
How many of us have done that? We’re put off guard and say something just odd. Welcome to the world of being human.
Now, let me ask you another question. How often do you forget to clarify something?
You’re talking about a project, going over important details or changes and then someone suddenly stop you, asking what in the world you are talking about. Oh yea, you know what you’re talking about because you’ve been thinking about it for the past hour but they haven’t. They can’t read your mind.
Yep, it happens to the best of us.
Do these feel pretty familiar? Welcome to the Awkward Duck Club, it’s a membership with monthly dues that I regularly pay for. Pictured above is our mascot.
Say What You Mean… Clearly
So, what the heck does being sometimes socially awkward have to do with awards? Well, because all too often managers say thank you and give an award without even telling the person why or saying what they actually mean.
I can’t even begin on how many times I’ve gotten a thank you, good job, or even an appreciation gift/award and have no idea why. When asked, I get vague answers, or my favorite, “Just because you’re awesome.”
I’ll take it, but why? Why did I get this expensive appreciation gift? I would like to know what I’m doing right.
That’s why clearly defining and stating what you mean is so important; as my mother used to say when I’d get tongue-tied as a kid for talking too fast –“Use your words.”
Recognition Needs To Be Clearly Defined
I get being awkward, but that’s even more of a reason to stop, think about the” what” and “why”, and then clearly answer. When it comes to employee recognition, don’t let the awkward bird lead by not coming prepared, have it pre-planned and clearly defined.
In the case of recognition, the reason for the award needs to be clear. How else am I supposed to keep repeating a specific action or improving if I’m floating through this void of lack of communication and knowledge?
Which, by the way, how are companies supposed to get a return on investment for that award or gift if employees don’t know what they’re supposed to do? I wanted to keep doing that “good thing” more so I could keep improving and getting such nice recognition; however, how could I if my managers wouldn’t tell me?
So, what’s the solution? Clearly define why and what the employee did to receive the accommodation. Did they save the company a lot of money? Did they get the top sales numbers for the year? Did they have the highest employee retention rate? Then tell them! That’s the only way we will know. Just like my point earlier, no one can read your mind.
Awards That Clearly Define Why: Themed Plaques
Take it a step further when clearly defining the “why” by making it the vocal point of the award and recognition. That way, there is never a question on what the award is for and which employee program it’s through.
As you can see, our Themed Plaques allow for a clear “why” that fits for the reason and the program. This ensures that the employee understands why they have been given the award and will easily be able to remember. As mentioned in our Recognizing Employees While “Incentives” Gifts Wash Away blog, unless the award/gift clearly defines the “who,” “what,” “when,” “and why,” then the employee is less likely to remember that they received the award, much less the reason why – which is the whole point of spending money on an employee recognition program, right? It’s all about the ROI of growth in the desired actions and attitude.
Hence, meet our Themed Plaques.
We have full-color, high-gloss laminated designs for any event or occasion. Just add a logo and inscription, making it easy and fast for you. Theme titles can even be imprinted in colors matching your logo.
Bonus: Since this is part of our DYR Collection, you have a small minimum for product orders (only 3!), you can change various elements as needed (such as the theme title), and we have a fast turnaround of virtuals in 1-2 days and shipping out to you in typically only 7-10 days.
Be aware, we have 2 websites, one for our DYR Collection and the other focusing on our Bruce Fox custom capabilities. Learn more about the difference here.
Finally, do you want to chat about how to help avoid your employee program from being awkward and confusing like some of my previous experiences? Or, do you want to talk about how you’re a member of the Awkward Duck Club, too? Comment below – I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Kristina Hublar is your friendly neighborhood Marketing Specialist at Bruce Fox, Inc., which means she is the person behind the keyboard for the social media, emails, website, and other marketing efforts. She’s new to Bruce Fox, but is an Indiana native. In her spare time, you’ll find her plotting her next road trip, bobbing along to music while crafting, spending time with loved ones, or with her nose in a book.