A Minute to Recognize

September 18, 2020 Kevin Fischer

3-minute read


“Can I get a minute of your time?” 

I have found something that takes about a minute or less and will not only make your day better, but more importantly, someone else’s. First, I need more than of a minute of your time (just being honest).

A few weeks ago we had a storm pass through New England. One of our lovely pine trees decided it didn’t want to be that tall any longer and tossed a branch to the ground – and by branch, I mean a 12+-foot-long piece of tree lying out in the street. I emailed our town to tell them about the debris blocking the street. 

The next morning a crew came and cut the branch down to size, mulched parts of it, and left the area nice and clean. I was so grateful I emailed them again and said, “Wanted to thank the team who came through and did such a great and thorough job of cleaning up the downed tree branch. We really appreciate it!” 

Less than a minute later I got this in reply: “You’re welcome. Thank you for the thank you, we don’t get too many of those :)”

Don’t get too many of those? For real? That is when I realized work followed me home. Every day I’m on the lookout for where I can publicly recognize good work from my colleagues at Workhuman®. Early on, I remember thinking that giving recognition wasn’t a big deal. But for one of the first people I recognized, it was. She told me my message made her week. Then it got amplified because her co-workers chimed in and said they loved that about her too. 

I can think of so many other examples like this. Many people are dealing with the stress of having to work from home and either hybrid, virtual, or full-on homeschool their kids. What will this look like? What about X? How will Y work? It struck me how efficient, informative, and consistent my oldest daughter’s principal and team has been with communication. So I sent her a quick email saying, “Thank you for all of the updates and all that you and your team are doing for our kids and us.”

Can you guess what she did? She called me. In her voicemail she said, “Thank you for the nice message. It was very kind of you and it made my afternoon.“ Do you know how that made me feel? I want to do it so much more than I already am. That positive feedback loop that builds and sustains relationships had been set in motion. The more you show appreciation, the more you want to show appreciation. 

This post goes into more details about how you can get that positive feedback loop started in the workplace. From driving excellence to nurturing trust, the benefits of recognition for both the giver and the receiver cannot but understated.

So take a minute. Say “thank you,” send a word of encouragement, or even send a text letting someone know how they made your day, your, week, or your life better.


Back to Basics: What Is Employee Recognition?

Recognition Is Not a Nice-to-Have – It's a Must Have

What Receiving My 7-Year Service Milestone Meant to Me

About the Author

Kevin Fischer

Kevin is a senior visual designer at Workhuman.

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