Dundie Award

Don’t Be an Idiot

We’ve all seen “The Office,” right? You know the show…Steve Carrell plays Dunder Mifflin boss Michael Scott? It’s a pretty great show.

In one episode, Michael asks Dwight, played by Rainn Wilson, what the most inspiring thing he had ever said to Dwight was.

“Don’t be an idiot.”

Simple, right? No one wants to be an idiot.

So how do you, as a manager, make sure you aren’t an idiot when you are recognizing your employees for their hard work and accomplishments?

First, know that your words have an incredible impact on your employees, so much so that you have the power to shape their lives and create a life-changing moment. When it comes time to give your employee recognition for a job well done, make sure you choose your words carefully.

While “don’t be an idiot” is funny in the context of the show, it’s something we have to remember when we honor our employees. Do what the experts do when they honor employees. Phrase recognition comments in this way:

  • I saw what you did…
  • I appreciate…
  • Here’s why it’s important…

Too often managers and leaders don’t know what to say to get their point across when they are recognizing an employee. Basically just remember to keep it simple. When you are presenting an award, it has symbolic meaning, so briefly address what that meaning is, tell your employee that you appreciate them, and close your comments with a sincere “thank you” and congratulate them.

Congratulations! You’ve just presented your employee with an award, you did it in a meaningful way, and you weren’t an idiot.

Dundie Award

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