Good morning to my superhero colleagues!
In this second shot of Friday thoughts, I want to hit on something that I think affects us all.
It is something we can remedy immediately… and with any luck it can ripple out to improve other aspects.
… We always expect people to do their job… (it’s a fair assumption) but more than that, we expect people to do a good job.
Our work culture incorporates the expectation that the work we do is good: That is now a standard and few people will argue that we should be doing “the minimum”.
But because we expect a good job to be done, means that we often miss the simple truth that a lot of effort is still required from those involved who are performing it.
…Good work is going unnoticed
… Or if not “unnoticed” at least not valued as much as it should be.
I’m not saying this because I feel underappreciated in my role, and I’m not saying this because I was born in England and only the Canadians surpass us in the politeness Olympics.
I’m saying this because as a leader I understand that those around me and those in my charge get an inspirational boost and feel appreciated and valued when good work is acknowledged.
These 2 factors (appreciation and value) are key to a team members sense of belonging, and will directly influence their production as well as whether they are stressed or passionate about their work.
The best results come when I go to them in person and say with sincerity that I appreciated their effort and help.
A message in Teams or on email works too given how remote work is more popular (and the effect is multiplied if others, particularly managers are included on CC)… but that desk visit for the sole purpose of praise goes much further because it’s open, public, and above all it’s honest human caring. In addition to that, contacting a line manager to praise someone is magical, cultivate that method too for special efforts.
Creating a culture where everyone is polite and says “thank you” all the time is not my goal here. Realize that people are working hard for each other, I want your focus to be on empathy.
This is a human skill everyone can improve on:
A little challenge for you right now: Find one person who assisted you recently and thank them in person.
Honest appreciation goes a long way in building trust, a safe culture and loyal friends/co-workers/employees.
I can say with 100% certainty, people will leave a good company because of a bad manager or lack of appreciation.
But they will stay with a difficult job to be with a good leader.
Final note: Don’t make a joke of it and don’t fake it. Sincerity is key. Reflect personally and recognize it first, then publicly appreciate it.