We’ve all experienced the painful frustration of working hard and giving our utmost to a task … only to end up feeling unacknowledged and unappreciated. So, why are we so inconsistent in acknowledging the good work of others?
Because it seems there just isn’t enough time in our overcrowded day to stop and thank someone who’s doing good work. And, more often than not, we tend to take a “that’s their job, isn’t it?” type attitude.
And while it is true that people are being paid to do the work they’re doing…. if we want to keep good workers on our team and in our organization – and if we want their skills and capacity to grow – we need to acknowledge what they’re doing in clear, specific terms that will help them stay focused on doing the right things well.
It’s simple, really: when you see it, say it! Here’s how.
- Notice what’s right
It’s a lot of fun to notice things done well – much more fun than our default mode of noticing when something’s gone wrong. So pay attention!
- Speak up
Take 30 seconds to let them know you noticed. That’s all it takes: just 30 seconds. Of course, by all means take longer if you want!
- Be specific
Generic “attaboy” or “attagirl” statements won’t help someone know precisely what they did well. Since you want them to develop those behaviors into repeatable skills and practices, tell them exactly what you saw. Instead of “Hey, great job!” go for, “Hey, you were responsive and caring with that customer. She was upset at the beginning, but she went away happy – you did a great job listening and understanding her needs.”
You’ll discover that the good feelings go both ways: the people you appreciate will feel great about themselves and their work, and you’ll feel great about the positive impact you’re having on the organization.
Recommended Training Resource
Preview Practical Coach in its entirety for more on rewarding good performance as well as for information on correcting poor work and using a “2 minute challenge” to help turn around dead-end performance.