As a leader, saying “thank you” seems like it should be common practice. But in reality, this simple act is not utilized as often as you would think. According to a recent study, more than 1/3 of workers felt unappreciated and were seeking new opportunities. There was a direct correlation between job satisfaction and the level of recognition they received at work.
It’s a basic need for humans to be respected and acknowledged, and those that do are typically more motivated than those who aren’t. So aside from any formal recognition programs you may have in place, here are some informal tactics to utilize on a day-to-day basis.
Instead of saying a breezy “thanks” on your way to your next meeting, take a few extra moments. Take some time aside, stop what you’re doing, and look them in the eye. Tell them how their work affected something positively – they’ll be able to feel your authenticity when you take the extra time to make it count.
Sporadic thanks may actually be worse than no thanks at all. Make it a point to consistently tell your team that you appreciate them. Set reminders on your calendar, if you need to. When you consistently shell out the praise, people are more likely to work harder.
“Great job on that report.”
“Thanks for working so hard to get those figures right; your attention to detail is excellent.”
The difference between these two statements? Well, the difference is 11 words. But those 11 words make an enormous difference when you’re looking at motivating your team. By simply saying “great job on that report,” you’re not letting the person know exactly what you loved about their work. Being specific and personal not only makes the person feel positive, but it shows everyone that you’re paying attention to details.
Every office has them – the most talented and hardworking team members that seem to get all the praise and recognition. And like most teams, there are underdogs that need love, too. Perhaps a little praise and appreciation is all they need to become the superhero they are.
This post is an adaptation of Lolly Daskal’s “6 Powerful Ways to Thank Your Team for Being Awesome,” originally published on Inc.com.