Practical Suggestions for Showing Appreciation in Day to Day Work Life
One of the most common questions we receive is: “How do you keep the concept of communicating appreciation going in the workplace?” We have found the following action steps to be extremely helpful in helping appreciation and encouragement become part of a workplace culture:
Start your staff meetings with reports of examples of appreciation & encouragement being given. Reinforce the importance of appreciation by starting meetings with team members sharing examples of receiving appreciation or observing someone else encouraging a colleague. (If you wait until the end of the meeting, you’re at risk of “running out of time.”) At the beginning, share an example yourself or ask a colleague to be prepared to share a story. Then, when you consistently ask for examples, people will realize this isn’t just a passing fad.
Remind team members that “Speed & Specifics” make communicating appreciation work well. Giving quick (at least, timely) feedback on actions observed will create the most impact. Additionally, be sure and provide specifics about the behavior and why that behavior is important — to you, to your team or organization, or to your customer/clientele. Often, employees don’t fully understand how their behavior influences others and impacts the organization.
In long distance work relationships, be “Proactive, Personal & Prioritize.” When team members don’t work in the same physical location, you don’t have those spontaneous interactions that occur in the break room, hallway, parking lot or elevator. As a result you have to be proactive and plan casual interactions — to call and “check in” with your colleagues. Also, be personal. Don’t always talk about work. Occasionally, set up a time just to “chat” and see what is going on their life, or with their family. What did they do this past weekend? How are their kids doing? What activities are their kids involved in? The work relationship can be sterile and utilitarian if you only talk about work issues. Finally, many times you have to prioritize if you have a lot of team members who work at a distance. Call, email, text or video conference with those individuals who may be discouraged.
Tags: appreciation, encouragement, leadership, long distance workers, remote workers
Categories 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, Communication, Employee engagement, Managers, Managing By Appreciation