Verbal Recognition: The Value of It

Pat on the Back

The Value of Verbal Recognition – Employees

I asked myself the following question, what employee doesn’t admire verbal recognition? Eluding for a second, the actual question, we as individuals, through human nature, will always adore recognition, recognition from others for our ideas, and recognition from others for our actions. Verbal recognition toward employees provides that sense of satisfaction and acts as an informal motivator of sorts, as per Maslow’s theory on motivation. Similar to pay being a category of the hygiene theory, recognition, verbal or not, is a constructive asset to most employees, and at times, regardless of pay, may serve a more psychological purpose over other motivators in an individual’s soiree of emotions and thoughts.

The Value Decreases?

Reflecting on the question; can managers decrease the value of verbal recognition? The answer is, yes. Again, based on the human’s psychology of interpretation, the human mind commits to memory, the negative attributes it is affected by, even more so, than the positive. Although verbal recognition can serve as a gainful strategy to applaud an employee’s actions, negative characteristics that overwhelm such positive behaviors can lead to an imbalance; an imbalance of bad over good, so to speak. And genuinely, any individual will only recall the attribute that overpowers. For example, it doesn’t trouble me if you praise me once, and criticize me once; however, if you praised me twice, but criticized me ten times, you’ll have to believe that all I’ll distinguish from your management behavior is your nasty character.

Verbal Recognition

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What not to Be!

There will be many instances in ones career, when he/she will experience a manager that has integrity and a strong code of ethics. These types of managers pass that energy along throughout the organization’s entirety, which will thus mirror a similar temperament.

Conversely, there will be instances when one faces a manager that masquerades in some repulsive shroud, lacks a code of ethics, and imparts a spiteful energy. Is this a good thing? Of course, why not? For it teaches us, and employees, of "what not to be".

“Individuals are not content with the satisfaction of lower-order needs at work, for example, those associated with minimum salary levels or safe and pleasant working conditions. Rather, individuals look for the gratification of higher-level psychological needs having to do with achievement, recognition, responsibility, advancement, and the nature of the work itself" (Herzberg, 1969).

Reference:

Herzberg, F. (1969). Work and the nature of man: The Motivation-Hygiene Theory. Cleveland, OH: The World Publishing Company.

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