Many leaders are good at the business side of things. They’re able to hit their goals, and they might even be decent at profit. But, unfortunately, many leaders don’t prioritize their people. And when this is the case, morale tends to be low, turnover is high, and the business suffers. The cost is too great.
I’ve found that one simple way of turning this around is noticing the everyday contributions of others. In fact, with some intentionality and a little bit of creativity, you can transform your team’s culture by celebrating achievements together.
This might feel awkward at first. The word celebration might even bring to mind a party or other large event that requires more planning and budgeting than you can employ right away. But celebration doesn’t always have to be a big to-do.
Here is one thing you can begin now, and it doesn’t cost a thing.
When you pull back from all the responsibilities and tasks, we’re all just people with hearts, dreams, and aspirations. Everyone likes to receive recognition for their efforts. It’s something we all need. Verbal affirmation is the easiest way to do that. When you notice a team member doing something good, catch them in the moment and tell them right away.
The best place to offer affirmation is in front of others. Whether it’s in a team meeting, over email, or in Slack, the more publicly you affirm your team the bigger impact your words will have. Alternatively, there’s nothing like a thoughtful, handwritten note. Not only does it communicate that you care, but also that you took the time to say something sincere.
Calling out major wins, like quarterly goals or successful project launches, may be obvious. But noticing the more regular—and more mundane—contributions of your team goes a lot further than you might think. This doesn’t come naturally to all leaders. That’s okay. Keep it simple and slowly begin developing the habit. Remember, you’ll receive more of what you affirm. When you celebrate the efforts and contributions from your team, they’ll push for more.
So stay alert for praiseworthy moments. Set time aside on your calendar to write thank-you notes. Before you know it, other team members will follow your lead and begin affirming each other’s efforts as well. Then watch your culture change.