Recognition plays a key role in motivating individual to perform better. As a human tendency we want validation / appreciation from others. Recognition comes in many forms. It can be a “pat on the back”, “thank you” note, a card or an award. Each of these methods have an impact and they boost morale. Most important thing about recognition is it should be timely. Recognition delayed is recognition denied.
Recently I heard an interview of Hunny Bakshi who retired as colonel from India Army (Link to interview – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1rLTh1fjzI). Colonel Bakshi narrated leadership lesson he learnt from General V. K. Singh who went to become Chief of Indian Army. This story is about timely recognition and how it helps to boost morale.
Before becoming Indian Army Chief, General V K Singh was General Officer Commanding (GOC) for Victor Force. His area of responsibility was hostile areas of Jammu and Kashmir. Historically this area had lot of hostility and militant and terror activity. After Indian Armies operation against terrorist / militants, Gen Singh used to personally go to forward base to talk to officers who took part in operations. He used to travel with a bottle of Scotch and hand it over to officer as a thank you. Then he used to have tea with the unit. Formal recognition in form a medal would come later. But the instant visit of unit chief to say, “thank you” and give pat on the back was immense morale boost of troops.
It’s always important to express your gratitude. Express your thank and appreciation to those around you before its too late…