Many people get so little recognition from others that they're caught completely off guard when it does come their way. Not knowing what to do, they might claim they don't deserve it, or see some hidden agenda at work. Naturally, this kind of response is a turnoff for anyone trying to be encouraging, perhaps inhibiting them from trying again. Which is unfortunate, because as I discussed last month, sincere recognition for safe behavior provides direction and motivation, and improves attitudes toward safety in general.
Remember, consequences influence behaviors, making it crucial for us to react appropriately when we're praised. This is how we nurture positive reinforcement throughout the workforce. Here are five basic guidelines for receiving recognition: