“It felt like much of my work just went into a black hole. One too many large tasks in addition to the massive reading load – and not even receiving thanks or a word of acknowledgement.”[i]
Have you heard yourself say something like: Well done! Thank you for that effort! I appreciate the work that you put into this! Good job!
Surely you enjoy being acknowledged or hearing praise yourself!
No matter how well someone performs, as humans, we need affirmation. Some need it more, others less. Some prefer it privately, others publicly or a mix. As someone’s supervisor/manager, it’s your role to know your employees’ preference.
You might say that this is common sense; yet, supervisors/managers/leaders acknowledge that they could be offering more praise than they do. In fact, management experts encourage supervisors to offer praise more often than constructive feedback. Acknowledging positive behavior yields better performance over time than focusing on performance deficits.
The importance of acknowledgement goes at least as far as back as psychologist Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (1940) and has been corroborated amply since then in the management literature.
The expression of appreciation contributes to a positive climate in which people can work productively with enthusiasm. Enthusiasm, in turn, is perceived by clients. Can’t you tell when you walk in some place whether folks are just doing a job, checking a box or whether they are happy to serve or assist you? How many places do you know where you experience this positive vibe? Wouldn’t you want to be one of those businesses?
So, the next time you see one of your employees or team members doing something well, let them know! Oh, one more thing: Not only will this help with customer satisfaction, you will also have an impact on employee retention!
[i] Youn, S. (2021, December 26). These women quit their jobs. Here’s their bottom line. Wall Street Journal.
References and Sources:
Buckingham, Marcus and Coffman, Curt. First, Break all the Rules. Simon & Schuster, 1999.
Gilbert, Thomas F. Human Competence: Engineering worthy performance. McGraw-Hill, 1978.
Kaye, Beverly and Jordan-Evans, Sharon. Love ‘em or Lose ‘em. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2005.
Herzberg, Frederick. “One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees?” Classics of Organizational Behavior, edited by Walter E. Natemeyer, Moore Publishing Company, 1978, p. 95.
The Arbinger Institute. The Outward Mindset. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2016
Gabrielle Vetter-Taaffe is a management consultant with GPB Associates (gpbassociates.net) specializing in strategic HR initiatives and supervisory capacity building. She can be reached at email@example.com.