You don’t need a big budget to show your team appreciation. In fact, throwing money at recognition and appreciation isn’t the most effective way to show your gratitude at all. That doesn’t mean it’s not a good thing to have monetary rewards within your recognition system. That’s great to do - as long as you aren’t ignoring something that’s much more important to do. Many managers find it much easier and/or more comfortable to give gift cards, money, and other rewards that have a monetary value. They feel worthy for doing it. They believe employees will appreciate this most of all. And they believe this is the best way to get them motivated. Most of us have read the numerous studies that show money as fourth or fifth on the list of motivators. The top of the list always includes connecting with your people, doing things like communicating better, being an example, exhibiting strong leadership, empowering them, and giving them opportunities to grow and advance. A Forbes article cites a study by Accenture that shares the following reasons people are looking to quit - with lack of recognition being the reason for 43% of folks!
They don’t like their boss (31%)
A lack of empowerment (31%)
Internal politics (35%) and
Lack of recognition (43%)
While it’s important to know your team and what might be motivating for each person, there is something all of us can do to show appreciation to every member of our team. Since acronyms helps us remember, let’s call this one LAF with your team!
Listen. Solicit ideas, and listen to people. Ask questions and then listen to the answers. Ask how someone is doing, and then really listen to how they are, and what’s happening in their life. Listen to the words, to the non verbals, and to the emotions.
Acknowledge. Show them you heard them. Reiterate what you think you heard for clarification. When appropriate, check in with what emotion you think they were expressing, to show you get it. Use non verbals like nodding your head while raising your eyebrows to show you’re open. Change your tone of voice to show you can relate to what they are saying. Be 100% present. Do not allow your phone or anything else to be a distraction. Show gratitude for people who are speaking up and filling you in on something that might be a negative. Even if you can’t make the change that they are suggesting, being listened to and acknowledged is what most people are seeking.
Follow Through and Follow Up. Walk the talk - do what you say you’re going to do. Circle back and let them know, even if you don’t know anything yet. Be honest and candid. This shows you respect them, and builds trust.
When you LAF with your staff, you’re not only connecting with them and building trust, but you’re showing them that you respect and appreciate them.
So keep giving the gift certificates and the other monetary rewards. Just make sure you LAF, and hey, do it consistently and you’ll be guaranteed to watch the trust grow on your team! Are you wondering how you’re perceived when it comes to recognizing and appreciating the people on your team? Wiley’s 363® provides a safe and productive way for leaders to get 360-degree feedback. Wiley’s 363® format really takes the sting out of the comments you get back from your team, and makes it easier for raters to complete. Contact Laurie to get started!