A Well-Deserved Pat on the Back Goes a Long Way

A Well-Deserved Pat on the Back Goes a Long Way

Attracting and retaining top talent remains a challenge for almost every kitchen and bath showroom. While most showrooms understand the need to recognize their team members, recognition has become increasingly difficult especially for businesses with hybrid work schedules.  Reflective recognition is a new technique to provide a well-deserved pat on the back to outstanding efforts, performance and individuals.

Reflective recognition invites teams or individual team members to reflect on and share what they are most proud of and why.  A reason why this approach works is that when owners and managers recognize team members for their efforts their perspectives are limited to what they see and their value propositions.  It may be more important for an owner to recognize a designer who maximizes margins, but not understand that the designer is most proud of her ability to stage projects effectively.  In other words, reflective recognition allows team members to be recognized for the efforts that no one else sees such as working extra hours, resolving a customer service issue before it becomes a problem or meeting impossible deadlines.

Why Reflective Recognition Works

The reasons why reflective recognition works is that’s it's easy, requires no preparation, costs nothing and delivers wins for both team members and owners.  How difficult is it for an owner to ask a designer, what were you most proud of on your last project?  When owners ask that question, they obtain keen insights into what’s most important to team members.  Reflective recognition also helps to maintain momentum, because it provides opportunities for employees to take a moment to reflect on their accomplishments and how they overcame challenges.  This typically improves productivity.  

Humility is a common character trait for most people.  We tend to minimize our accomplishments and over emphasize our shortcomings.  Asking team members what they are most proud of helps counter these tendencies.  If the response is non-committal, e.g., “I am happy to be part of an effective team,” follow up with more probing questions such as:

  • What did you do to overcome the challenges on this project?
  • What lessons did you learn?
  • What can we share with other team members to make the next project easier for them?

When team members do share what they want to be recognized for, what’s exciting to them or their most difficult daily and project challenges, owners need to both recognize the behind-the-scenes tasks they may have been unaware of and to say thank you. 

Recognize that many team members, because of humility, might be reluctant to share what’s most important to them.  Leaders need to make team member feel comfortable doing so by incorporating reflective recognition into the showroom’s culture.  


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