The number one reason why people enjoy and stay at their jobs is not money. Of course you do work FOR the money, but when employees are asked about what motivates them about work - acknowledgement tops the list every time. Quick question: Do you regularly and specifically acknowledge your direct reports?
Regularly: Not once a year - a more frequent basis would suffice. Specifically: Not a generalized statement: "You're doing a great job!" But a more specific one: "The way you handled the meeting today - you've come a long way. I'm so proud of you!".
When it comes to acknowledgement, do these four things:
- Gratitude: Show real gratitude and insert it into your acknowledgement.
- Honesty: Be sincere. No joking. Don't be flippant.
- Focused: Get them alone, or catch them off-guard — "I need to speak to you . . . "
- Enthusiastic: Don't make it sound like they are being fired. Smile. Make them feel the energy!
And don't go around the table or office and acknowledge everyone at the same time — that defeats the purpose.
If you regularly and specifically acknowledge your direct reports, you'll find that you will have a more energized and determined team. And how much does it cost? NOTHING. Start doing it today.