Recognition has its own language

Devyani bhati
3 min readApr 22


To all the managers out there, learn these Recognition languages to uplift your team.

Everyone wants to feel significant and appreciated. Most people have a “primary love language” that they prefer. And when that particular language is not used, the efforts can go unnoticed.

The challenge for managers is to uncover how different individuals feel recognized. If employees don’t value the form of recognition they’re receiving, they may not think they’re getting any at all. The consequences of this can take a massive toll on their engagement and motivation.

But what are these different languages of recognition that managers are expected to know? Follow below to know the different forms:

1. Words of upliftment 💌

Sure, constructive feedback helps, but there are people for whom the value of verbal or written encouragement is above all other forms of recognition. These words show that you care and support, and provide work validation.

For this form to be effective, the words used should be specific, rather than generic. Specific feedback that emphasizes the impact of a particular action is not only thoughtful but also helps to grow.

Ways to uplift:

  • Acknowledging contributions and expressing gratitude for their hard work in front of the whole team.
  • Highlight their accomplishments in front of a group.
  • Personal appreciation for even a small job well done.

2. Realistic rewards🏆

Words might not be enough for all. Instead, they attribute a higher value to the tangible presence of your appreciation. The reward doesn’t need to be huge but thoughtful, and relevant to our achievement.

Rewards can be in form of:

  • Taking the team out for a break after an exhausting project came to an end.
  • A physical souvenir or a token of memento to always remember the achievement and use that as a motivation to keep performing better.
  • Increment in salary at the time of appraisal cycle or promotions in careers stating that this is the result of the good work they’ve been doing so far.
  • Variable bonuses to tell them to take a mental break. This ensures employees are not working over their capacity and are able to intact their sanity too.

3. Autonomy 🧗

Self-directed is directly linked to feelings of self-worth and free will. The primary way they feel your confidence in them is by being given space and authority to express their abilities. This segment of people craves challenges and expects you to have faith in their ability to handle things without you.

Enabling Autonomy by:

  • Letting them decide the workflow and take decisions.
  • Letting them share an update as and when needed rather, than checking up on them continuously.
  • Let them be the spokesperson to showcase their work and be able to take up all the feedback.
  • Trusting them with more responsibilities than their title defines.

4. Visible Impact 🤩

We all want to create an impact and ensure that our time and efforts are well spent. People driven by this form are motivated by the impact of their work. They might care less about what you have to say but are more interested in the scale of impact they’re creating.

Enabling visibility of Impact:

  • Connecting them directly with the end users to hear about the impact of their work.
  • Sharing data metrics and statistical analysis that reflect the first-order results of the work.
  • Connecting them with people in and outside the company who want to learn from their work.

With all of it being said, it’s very important for you to spend quality time with your team members to know more about them. Try to be fully present when talking to them and actively ask questions about them- not necessarily just about work. This shows you care and value them beyond their work skills.

Everyone deserves to feel valued and appreciated for doing great work. It’s just a matter of understanding the primary language of recognition for each individual. A manager should know to speak all these languages in order to deliver a greater impact with a highly motivated and satisfied team.

So, when was the last time you felt appreciated? or when did you last tell your reportee that they’re doing well and it tripled their performance after that?

Drop in comments to share or any feedback you might have. or simply find me on Instagram or Linkedin. and don’t forget to clap. You can just hold the clap button to not forget that clap goes up to 50 👏.



Devyani bhati

Product Designer | Loves meeting people |🎵 Spotify & ☕️ Coffee FTW. Designed for @unacademy, @graphyapp, @getupraised, @TickertapeIN/@smallcaseHQ, @medlifecare