Authentic recognition is not about bestowing company shirts and prizes. It is about giving and receiving genuine appreciation for a job well done.
Recognition plays a critical role in growing your team’s business because it keeps your team’s spirit ignited. Unfortunately, many people work in team environments where there is little to no recognition. These teammates are discouraged. They do not give their best to the team. Why should they?
Discouraged teammates are like racehorses. If a horse is giving you only 80%, you can whip him, and he will give you 90%. Whip him again, and he will give you 100%. But if you whip him again, after he has already given you everything he has, he will drop back to 80%, or maybe even less. He has learned that you are going to whip him regardless, even if he works harder. So why should he give you his best?
Whipped people leave teams.
Far too often, the ones who leave are the most talented teammates. People that receive legitimate and genuine recognition stay and contribute. Shirts and prizes cannot earn that kind of loyalty or effort.
In the book Right-Minded Teamwork: 9 Right Choices for Building a Team That Works as One, you will learn that Recognition is one of the 9 Right Choices.
See When a team is stuck in the "full-plate syndrome," it is best to complete the important tasks first. More for a related concept.