Most managers and supervisors know that the single greatest disappointment employees suffer in the workplace is the feeling that their hard work and effort goes unnoticed. What most managers and supervisors don’t know is that the second greatest disappointment employees have is insincere or inappropriately applied recognition! Does it seem to you that sometimes you can’t win?! The fact is you can all win, and here is how you do it.
First, you need to train yourself to constantly be on the look out for someone doing something right. As managers, we typically spend way too much time dealing with hot spots or trouble issues. Believe it or not, you have to develop the habit of seeking the good work that’s being done all around you.
Second, take time to visit with your staff when there is not a crisis or a problem to deal with. Sometimes a quick five minute meeting just to say Hi and let everyone know that they are OK is worth its weight in gold. If the only time you get together is when something is wrong, how excited are your people when you call a meeting or when they interact with you? The development of non-crisis interaction time is critical to team development and positive employee moral.
Third, learn the Power Thank You. For a simple “thank you” to become a powerful, and motivational tool for managers and supervisor’s, simply apply these four basic rules:
- Be timely. After a few weeks the accomplishment is forgotten.
- Be specific to something the employee accomplished, a task or goal completed.
- Acknowledge the effort it took to complete the goal.
- Address personally the benefits you and the company received as a direct result of this effort.
As a Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst and Executive Coach, “One of the first things I look for in a President or CEO is how well they know, and then acknowledge, their employees efforts and tasks. A Chief Executive who can not only recognize an employee by name but also by task and accomplishment, well…, that’s a keeper.”
Here is a tip for those of us trying to build this idea into a positive habit … sometimes we’re busy and we forget about what’s really important. To remind us to do the right thing, I ask my executives to start their day with three pennies in their right pocket. Every time they offer someone a power thank you, they move a penny to their left. By the end of the day, all three pennies need to be in that left pocket.
We spend more daylight hours at our workplace than with our families and friends so it is reasonable to assume that we should do all we can to make our work environment as pleasant as possible. The Power Thank You is one way to support this philosophy.
Sharon Jenks, CPBA, is President of The Jenks Group, Inc. a CA based consulting firm that specializes in strategic planning and executive team development. Sharon can be reached at email@example.com