A successful technique for providing recognition doesn’t require talking — that’s right, you can provide positive feedback to anyone without saying a word.

The only requirement is you have to see them demonstrating the desired behaviour. If you have followed some of my previous advice and make recognition an ongoing part of your team culture, this technique will fit in extremely well.

You begin by deciding as a team on a symbol to use as a positive cue — a sign you can make to anyone that says, “Well Done!” We are all familiar with “thumbs up” or “OK” circle; universal signals for positive communication. I once heard about a team that decided that when they saw positive behaviours demonstrated they would give each other the finger — a raised index finger for “We’re #1”.

A hand signal does not take the place of verbal or written feedback, but it is a useful addition to one’s toolkit for identifying and acknowledging value added activities. An obvious benefit is that you can do this across a room and no one else even knows what you are doing — something unique to your team or organization.

Your own secret sauce! I know that these tactics seem too simple — but it is inexpensive, personal, relevant, factual, repeatable — and it works. Employees want to be acknowledged, to know that the company is aware of their contribution or even more important — their efforts to overcome the limitations of their equipment, unforeseen problems, outdated systems, and processes are noticed and appreciated.

People don’t leave companies — they leave Managers. Two of the biggest reasons are; Managers who don’t know how to recognize people effectively, and having to work around poor performing co-workers, bad systems, and other problems and not being appreciated and acknowledged.

When your feedback describes what they did and what they had to overcome, you defeat the negative and create a positive, supportive, high-performance culture where everyone is working to improve, and where adding value gets noticed.

Try this technique and I guarantee employee engagement will go up and surveys will have positive responses about management and supervision. In addition, turn-over and absenteeism will go down and performance and productivity will go up.

For more information about having Bill speak about this topic at your next event, visit Kickass Keynotes