Recognition is always a best practice--but you must practice it to be best

  • Published
  • By Maj. Warren Brainard
  • 341st Missile Security Forces Squadron commander
A few years ago, I had the pleasure of hearing the USAFE Command Chief Master Sgt. Gary Coleman give a talk on recognition and how it is a vital leadership responsibility. Chief Coleman had learned over a 30- year career that regardless of position, rank or time in the service, recognizing fellow Airmen for outstanding performance pays huge dividends in individual accomplishments, unit performance and boosting morale.

He explained that most of us simply want to know that what we do is appreciated,whether by recognizing someone informally with a simple pat on the back or through venues such as a coin presentation or being formally nominated for the quarterly and annual awards programs.
Acknowledging a member's hard work is an outstanding motivational tool that builds confidence, fosters growth and encourages the learning process. It also helps the troops you lead see the big picture and how their job contributes to the success of the organization and the overall unit mission by blazing a path for future success.

In addition, providing outward and sincere recognition inspires others to do well. It creates a contagious and exponential effect with other Airmen who then set higher goals so that they, too, can be recognized and applauded for their efforts. Furthermore, great performers typically enhance overall unit effectiveness and deserve MVP status when things go well.

As a leader, Chief Coleman knew, and insisted, that leaders at every level are responsible for creating a work environment that inspires trust, teamwork, quality and esprit de corps. While there are many different levels and aspects to this responsibility, providing encouragement through recognition is the foundational building block of organizational excellence and pride. It's a small thing that seems so simple, yet is often forgotten.

Every team Malmstrom member plays a vital role in our overall mission success to constantly push to achieve new levels of excellence--by getting involved, knowing our people and taking time to recognize and reward the hard work of our teammates.

Highlighting a job well done today will produce better leaders tomorrow and assist us in our goal towards maintaining a safe, secure and effective nuclear arsenal--it's our responsibility and solemn promise to the nation we are sworn to protect.