By Brandi Homan
When interacting and working with others we seek to be recognized. In fact, study after study shows the No. 1 factor that keeps an employee satisfied is being recognized. Harvard Business just published an article all about it as a great way to both recruit and retain talent.
One form of recognition is acknowledgement of our existence, which we get when people talk with us, listen to us and take an interest in our thoughts, actions and well-being.
The next recognition is praise and reward, acknowledging our achievements and so encouraging continued effort. Without this we easily become demotivated and unsure of the real value of our work.
My brother-in-law has been in Syria and is on his way home. He has already sent us pictures of his medals. He is proud to serve his country and to be recognized for his hard work and determination.
In this densely populated and highly interconnected world, it is easy to get lost in the crowd. Teachers instruct hundreds of children each year. Managers in companies may interact with hundreds, even thousands.
So, let’s go backward; when we are recognized, we feel that we exist and have purpose.
Did you know, according to the 2018 Arizona Youth Survey, 41 percent of students reported they don’t feel noticed when doing a good job and 58 percent don’t feel recognized by their teachers? The same survey found kids don’t get much recognition at home, either. Fifty percent of the time they feel parents don’t notice when they do a good job at home.
This makes sense when you move on down the survey and read that 81 percent of kids said they don’t feel the schools let their parents know when they do a good job at school. I hate reading so many students don’t feel supported at home or at school.
People do all kinds of things to gain recognition, particularly working hard in aiming to please. If this seems too difficult, then they may attract attention by other means such as under-performing, acting out or abusing substances to numb out negative feelings.
I believe making the effort to recognize the genuine efforts of our young people at home and at school is a simple yet profound step we can all take to have an awesome effect on our children. At Be Awesome, we as a team believe we can impact our world by developing confident, connected and successful youth by offering community-focused programs and services. Sometimes it’s just a simple “that was awesome.”
Brandi Homan is the co-founder of Be Awesome Youth Coalition.
This column appears in the April issue of InMaricopa.