Need proof that a little bit of recognition can produce amazing results? How about hearing directly from managers who have made slight tweaks to their way of working? Who are taking action and reaping big results?
On the anniversary of receiving the weekly recognition tips for one year, my subscribers “pay their dues.” I ask them to tell me what they are doing differently and what changes have they have observed in employees.
A New Way of Working
In terms of what they do differently, for the vast majority, they simply keep recognition top of mind and offer frequent sincere praise and appreciation. Many have begun using the FASTER meeting format (covered in Make Their Day and 101 Tips for Team Leaders) and a few have come up with creative ideas that I include in future tips.
What changes have they observed? After offering these tips for over four years I have quite a collection of success stories. Here are just a sampling:
“The difference? It shows in the glows.”
“The biggest change I have seen on my direct team is that they appear to be more willing to offer assistance and have actually thanked me for acknowledging what they have done. I had one employee say in all the years they have been working for our organization nobody as ever shown interest in what they do.”
“During our staff meetings we take a moment to have people talk about successes. People see that recognition and reward are part of the new culture and it has helped morale.”
“I’ve always thought of myself as someone who does a fairly good job of recognizing others. Particularly in the last six months I’ve tried to “kick it up a notch” and have been pleasantly surprised by the positive responses I’ve received.”
“I now make absolutely sure that I thank employees for their contribution (or task they have done for me) and give them feedback on how it helped me or the quality of work. I have noticed that in my 360’s people are commenting about my great feedback now.”
“One staff has said to me it feels like I’m giving her a million dollars when I give her [an award].”
“They volunteer to do extra for me with no questions asked.”
“I’ve noticed that people are recognizing each other more.”
“By recognizing them personally it has helped to keep communication open and create positive relationships.”
“Most of the benefit is reinforcement of good recognition behaviors. We tend to be very busy…so recognition can get overlooked. An indicator of success is that we do an annual survey across all of the Company on employee attitudes. For the last two years our team has been well ahead of the function / broader Company on all categories including recognition.”
“Three years ago, I scored really low in the Competency areas of “motivating others” and “directing others” in my 360 Feedback. I believe that the simplicity of the tips you’re sharing makes applying them more real and sincere. I think that I’ve improved a lot because my team is more responsive now.”
“I can just “feel” that it has made a difference in the relationships we have with each other and our staff. We took to heart one of your tips- ” At the end of the day” and have started doing Huddles with staff and leaving little notes. It does take extra time and energy but wow has it made a difference.”
Simple, But Not Easy
Each of these managers changed their habits. They found that simple behaviors, repeated consistently resulted in teams with higher morale and greater willingness to pitch in. In the words of one reader, “Wow, has it made a difference.”