In a world going through a cycle of mass change and employee movement, the research is clear: showing your current employees’ recognition and appreciation can make a significant difference in their engagement, performance, and even retention. An article in the Harvard Business Review, titled “Do You Tell Your Employees You Appreciate Them?”, describes how leaders rated in the top ten and bottom ten percent for providing recognition have over a 40-percentile difference in their employees’ engagement scores. This is a significant gap to be attributed to a simple but meaningful practice for leaders to incorporate into their team culture. There are several ways you can improve your recognition and appreciation-sharing skills. Here are a few to consider:
- Think about how people want to be recognized – Not everyone wants the public callouts and team celebrations. Recognize individual preferences, and they will truly feel seen and appreciated.
- Go beyond “Good Job” – Show that you recognize the process and the work that went into them receiving the appreciation. Provide detail and specifics beyond just the outcomes.
- Timing and frequency matters – Once you get into the habit of providing recognition to associates, the awkward initial feelings can fade away and your recipients can appreciate the moment more effectively. Also, timely recognition is the most effective recognition, so don’t wait too long!
If you aren’t normally a leader who provides recognition to their team members, it can feel awkward and unnatural to suddenly start. Remember though that you can always start with small, authentic moments of appreciation. Even that can make a difference in the engagement of employees, providing benefits for your team, team members and organization.
Understanding how to create high performing teams and communication skills are just two of the topics within UW-Green Bay’s Supervisory Leadership Certificate program. Registration is open now, learn more on our website.
Do You Tell Your Employees You Appreciate Them?– Harvard Business Review
Writing/Research Credit: Christopher Ledvina, UW-Green Bay Business Development Specialist