How appreciation builds teams –
Each and every team member will bring a different set of skills, knowledge and experiences to the group. Appreciating the wide variety of differences will go a long way to creating an effective and high performing team. Gallup and SHRM surveys indicate you can expect to see lower turnover, higher performance and employee engagement. These results come directly from showing employees gratitude and appreciation, so why would you pass up on this fantastic opportunity?
When you value and acknowledge the array of opinions, backgrounds and talents of your team members, you are investing in the fabric of the team. Thanking team members for their hard work and efforts builds rapport within the team. Sincere appreciation builds teams because it builds trust. It is also generally contagious in nature as others tend to join in with gratitude of their own. People hearing words of thanks and gratitude tend to mimic them in their own behavior and interactions. Recognition and appreciation becomes part of the culture.
As the culture is developing and growing, this kind of recognition can really move move the needle on your team, especially in the areas of performance and engagement. As team members realize their efforts are seen, recognized and acknowledged, they are often driven to work smarter and more effectively. This of course leads to increased team success, and who wouldn’t want that?
But how do I show appreciation?
Be public. It’s one thing to give a pat on the back and say “great job” when you pass someone in the hall. It’s another to take the time during a team meeting to point out someone’s extra efforts or the courage it took for them to hold the line in face of opposition. When you share publicly, you are letting others on the team see and share in the recognition. This setting carries much greater weight, lending even greater value to the gratitude. Not only does the team member feel appreciated, they feel more attached to the greater cause or vision of the organization. Alignment like this is the holy grail of brand loyalty and advocacy, at least on the employee side.
Be specific. “Thank you so much for everything you’ve done,” feels nice to the recipient. “Thank you for taking the time to be so thorough in your research. The extra details you uncovered allowed us to win this client and secure a multi-year contract.” Now that feels amazing, especially in a public setting. Being general with your appreciation may come across as an obligation whereas being specific shows true recognition. You have seen and validated the individual’s contribution.
Don’t stop there. Showing gratitude needs to become a part of who you are. Who your team is. Appreciation builds teams because it is part of the culture and that means it’s not just you doing it. Encourage and provide opportunities for others to share their gratitude and appreciation frequently.
More concrete please!
No reason to re-invent the wheel here. For suggestions on ways to express your appreciation, check out the following articles.
We’d love to hear from you, so how do you show appreciation within your teams? Please share in your comments below.
To discuss strategies and customize your upcoming team building program, call 855-TEAM BLD or contact your representative today.