In our continuing series on what kinds of gifts employees want from employers or their companies, we have been sharing what we hear people most want for the holidays or any time of year. Thus far, we shared that they want:
We now turn our attention to employee recognition. In addition to showing employees that you value them, you also need to find ways to praise and recognize them. And when you do, "let it show, let it show, let it show."
Years ago, I can still remember working well into the night to get ready for a major product meeting with the principals of the company. This was a major meeting for all the fall bookings and my team had work tirelessly by my side as we worked to get ready for the early morning meeting. This near all-nighter was in addition to the past three weeks of never ending meetings, brain-storming and number crunching we had done in preparation to present ideas and execute a plan that delivered the necessary receipts for the fall/holiday season--the biggest time of year for the retail industry.
Well, after a very successful meeting when it looked like we would not only deliver the receipts but pick up several million dollars in additional bookings, what did I do? I called them all in to a conference room and after a few niceties about the meeting, I asked them what we could do better next time!
I wondered why there was very little interaction after my query. Luckily for me, one of my team members pulled me aside and said, "How about a little recognition for how hard we all worked, a salute to what we accomplished, and an acknowledgment of what really worked this time--before you start asking us what we can do better next time!"
Wow! What was I thinking? In my haste to always keep on driving for new and better results, I forgot to take the time to appreciate and recognize what my amazing team had just accomplished. I needed to tell them how much their efforts meant to me and to the success of the fall bookings. I needed to specifically thank them for the things they had done to deliver those terrific results. It was a great lesson for me regarding what people really want from me or any of us as leaders or managers.
When it comes to doing great work, people want to know that you noticed and you appreciated their particular effort. Without recognition, people feel defeated, let down, and disengaged.
What have you done this week to specifically recognize the hard work and accomplishments of those you lead? What have you done to recognize and appreciate your peers or your boss? Take an important step to improving employee engagement at your organization and recognize your team members' hard work today!