Every day I make a point to encourage someone in my life. It could be a close friend, colleage or a complete stranger. I do this because of my faith and years in leadership having proven a little word of encouragement goes a long way. A simple “Thank you for …….” can change someone’s entire day, week, month or year.
Good leaders understand their driving desire to encourage others must exceed their desire for personal gain. I find that when we selflessly pour into others it makes us happier and more productive.
Recognition doesn’t always have to be in the form of money. It can, often be something money cannot buy – gratitude. Imagine an employee who works hard every day without receiving one word of encouragement from his/her boss. How long do you think that employee will stay?
Now imagine an employee working hard every day and the owner or senior manager coming by, shaking their hand, looking them square in the eye and saying “Jon/Jane thank you for your service, you are appreciated here.” Those few seconds could motivate a disengaged employee into becoming an actively engaged employee.
Sometimes employees don’t share their concerns with management because they fear it will fall on deaf ears. However, if you initiate a conversation with your employees by way of gratitude you will open a door for them to share their concerns or thoughts with you – often sharing information you may have never known without reaching out first.
There are many ways to thank your employees, but the first gesture should begin with an offer of gratitude followed by active listening. Truly listen to their needs or concerns with a central focus on helping them to become a greater contributor.
When employees are encouraged they take more ownership of their responsibilities and they become committed to influencing the success of the department and/or organization. As a result, productivity is higher and employee morale is boosted.
The bottom line…
Taking a little time to show some gratitude will cost you nothing. But neglecting to take the time to show your appreciation could cost you everything. Don’t become so focused on condemning workers for what they have done wrong that you forget to thank them for what they have done right.