Appreciation Matters

As business owners, one of our most important assets is our team members.

There are many motivational tools out there, but I have found none more effective than praise, recognition, and positive reinforcement. As a leader, you can only benefit by rewarding behaviors that you want to see repeated by your team members.

Let’s go over the “how to’s” of motivating your team members:

  • Give Praise — Immediately praise your team members whenever you notice a worthy action has occurred. You can do this verbally or in writing. Give praise with enthusiasm and authenticity.
  • Give Recognition —Recognition validates your team members. Asking your team members for their feedback and input in important issues raises confidence. Recognize their achievements at staff meetings in front of other team members or in your Agency Newsletter for a greater impact.
  • Give Feedback —If you want your team members to improve, you must offer feedback that is heartfelt, truthful, positive, and detailed as soon as the praiseworthy action has taken place.

Here are some tips to help you improve feedback:

  1. Be specific, direct, and focused with your comments. Focus on the action, not the employee.
  2. Offer constructive criticism for poor performance behind closed doors and piggyback with suggestions for improvement.
  3. Be encouraging when asking for improvement and focus on their strengths and skills.
  4. Follow-up feedback with an email or a note making sure your communication was understood and will be acted upon.

So, what is the “take away” here?

If you want your team members to thrive, then learning how to give feedback effectively can only benefit you and your agency.

I’ll finish with a quote from Sam Geist, a business management expert, and best-selling author:

"Highly motivated employees outperform less motivated employees right down to the bottom line."