Too Much Recognition? The Insights of a New Father!

Recognize This! – You can never get – or give – too much recognition.

I am pleased to announce that I recently became a first time father, to twin girls! I am exceedingly excited and thankful that both are beautiful and doing extremely well.  While I knew I’d feel an emotional bolt at first seeing them, what I really was not expecting was the wave of emotional bolts that came as a result of the congratulations and well wishes from family, friends, and colleagues.

Indeed, it was a massive wave of well-meaning, genuine, heart felt best wishes.  But, what is especially meaningful to me are the words of wisdom and advice that were provided, too.  These words have been repeating in my mind continuously, as I think through the fuller meaning of each one. Here’s an example of these indispensable gems I shall treasure forever (in no particular order):

  • Eric:  “You know, you can never over-cuddle an infant…so be sure to do it often.”
  • Ken: “Enjoy every second, it goes by in a flash.”
  • Chris: A quote for you: “Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body.” – Elizabeth Stone
  • Dave: “Lots to celebrate – so remember to do that, and often!”
  • Emma: “Hands-down, we found having children the best decision we ever made. I’m sure you will, too.”
  • Jennifer: “The love and admiration of your children is the most rewarding type of recognition one can receive.  It is priceless and never loses its impact.”

And then also the literally hundreds of congratulations, WOW, OMG, ohhhh, best wishes, fantastic, ridiculously cute messages that filled my e-mail, voice mail and text message box.

All this made me think of a question I get often in workshops – “Can you ever get too much recognition?”   I just got loads!   And you know what? I am now more sure than ever that you cannot get too much recognition.

Each and every message of congratulations, encouragement and support has resulted in a warm glow to all of us in our new family.  Ensuring this is that every message is heartfelt, genuine, and thoughtful.  Apply the same to recognition at work, and you can never give too much of it.

And the final words of advice from my consulting team:

  • Brenda: “Plant some smooches on those chubby cheeks from the Insight team!”
  • Traci: “… without hesitation, let the pink explosion begin!!!

A final note: Readers may have noticed a more infrequent pattern to my blog posts as of late. Now you know why! I remain committed, however, to sharing the latest research and news about employee recognition, engagement, performance and motivation through Recognize This!, though the frequency of my posts may remain a bit more inconsistent in the coming weeks.


Derek Irvine

About Derek Irvine

The VP of Client Strategy and Consulting at Globoforce, Derek Irvine is one of the world’s foremost experts on employee recognition and engagement, helping business leaders set a higher vision and ambition for their organizations. As a renowned speaker and co-author of "The Power of Thanks" and "Winning with a Culture of Recognition," he teaches companies how to use recognition to proactively manage company culture. Derek holds a B.Comm and Masters of Business Studies from the Smurfit Graduate Business School at University College Dublin.

One Response

  1. Ann Bares says:

    Congratulations Derek – best wishes to you and your family!

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