To increase performance these days, some companies send their staff to motivational seminars. These seminars can get good results, but if they are mainly “motivational,” we often see the effects wear off in days or weeks.
Some companies put their staff through training programs to help them handle the details of their post and to relate better to their customers. These can also be quite beneficial.
And some businesses use rewards programs to increase staff productivity. These have varied workability, some work splendidly, others are not so effective.
In this tip, you will be given a very simple way to increase the performance of the people who work for and with you. And as the title of the article indicates, it may possibly be the most powerful way to accomplish increases in staff output and effectiveness.
And here it is:
Acknowledge them when they’ve done something right!
People work for all kinds of reasons. We know the obvious ones. A not-so-obvious reason is to be recognized in some way for what they do. Especially when they do something right.
When somebody in your business does something right, LET THEM KNOW IT. Acknowledge them in some way.
Tell your secretary, “Thank you, Mary, for getting that report to me on time.”
Alice would love to hear that she’s been handling the switchboard exceptionally well the last few days.
Even the most seasoned salesperson will appreciate it when you shake his hand after a sale and say, “Bob, you handled that customer very professionally. Great job.”
Before you decide that this is too simple or that it just wouldn’t apply to your business, let’s look at an underlying principle at work here. People just simply appreciate acknowledgement or recognition. Don’t you? Do you not appreciate it when somebody sincerely acknowledges you for something you’ve done well?
Every group (whether it is a family or an organization) is built upon the willingness of the individuals composing it. You significantly increase that willingness when you acknowledge and recognize people for what they do.
This does not mean that you run around all day telling everyone you see how great and wonderful they are. We’re not talking about an airy-fairy or touchy-feely thing here. We are talking about a basic principle that is capable of increasing your staff’s willingness to produce and that willingness is actually your greatest capital.
Should you present year-ending or quarter-ending awards to your staff at a lavish dinner engagement? Sure.
Should you implement an incentive program that your staff agree with and will produce more to achieve? As long as it is viable for the business itself, absolutely.
Wouldn’t these types of programs recognize your staff in an appropriate way? Most certainly.
Those types of programs, however, are not the point of this article. The type of acknowledgement being discussed here is for the day-to-day running of things. When someone in your outfit does something well, say or do something that shows you appreciate that. Even if it’s a fast gesture or nod, it will communicate. Every effort you make on this will pay off.
I realize that some of you may have a hard time acknowledging your staff or expressing appreciation. I understand that. If you’re not comfortable acknowledging when others do things well, my suggestion is to implement this principle in small steps. A little here, a little there. I’m not patronizing here – a gradual approach to this will help you accomplish something that could be very valuable to your business.
Businesses perform much better when the people who make up the business are recognized on a day-to-day basis. They are more willing, more eager to do even the small things that are sometimes crucial to success.
You can and should get your staff applying this principle with each other. It will have a ripple effect.
“Alan, you handled that irate customer superbly. Thank you for rolling up your sleeves on that one.” Alan smiles and is more willing to roll up his sleeves the next time.
Does this principle have application outside of a business setting? Could it be used with friends and family? The answer is a resounding yes … but you already knew that
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