The One Thing You Need to Know About Your Team in Order to Recognize Them in Meaningful Ways

Walter Burke Barbe first designed the VAK model for learning and it was later developed by Neil Fleming.  It’s the idea that people process information in one of three ways:  

  • Visually, Auditorily, or Kinesthetically.  

What does this have to do with recognition?

When we know how our people prefer to process information, it allows us to recognize them in the way that most resonates with them – written, verbal, or by our actions.  

Once you find out how each individual prefers to receive and process information, you can strategically and intentionally align your recognition method to ensure your message resonates.  Your message will mean more to them, which means they’ll ultimately give more of themselves to further the team’s cause once they know you really do see them and appreciate them.

Here are some examples of simple ways to recognize your team members verbally, with written communication, and with your actions:

Verbal Recognition:   Recognizing effort, uniqueness, or talent verbally.

  • One on One’s
  • In Team Meetings

Written Recognition:  Recognizing people with written communication.

  • Email, Text Message, Social Media
  • Hand-Written Notes
  • Certificates, Posters, Bulletin Boards

Physical Action Recognition:  Recognizing people with our own actions.

  • Take someone to lunch
  • Delegate a task or project
  • Help them with their role

It sounds super simple, but as we all know, life happens.  Things creep up into our day to day and before we know it we’re just barreling through life tending to the whirlwinds moment by moment.  

Take time to pause, observe, listen, and reflect on your team’s contributions.  Let them know you see them and enjoy the impact it has not only on their productivity but also their attitude and zest for life, work, and simply being a part of your team’s mission.

“Happy people don’t go through life collecting and seeking recognition.  They go through life giving it away.”
— Dodinsky, author