A few weeks ago I wrote about one of my colleagues and a unique experience she had when a group of her peers spent a few very intentional minutes sincerely praising and recognizing her for the wonderful person she is. This is a beautiful example of the value of appreciation and recognition.
In chapter 11 of Be An Inspirational Leader, I noted how showing sincere appreciation and recognition for work well done is one of the simplest but most significant ways in which inspirational leaders engage those they lead.
It’s a basic truth of life that people want to be recognized and appreciated for what they do—especially when they achieve particularly challenging goals, go above and beyond their areas of responsibility, or exceed expectations with their assigned tasks.
Sadly, this very basic tenet of employee engagement is often overlooked in the workplace. Whether some leaders don’t believe their direct reports have earned their praise, or they simply don’t think about it, far too many leaders fail to express appreciation. As a result, those they lead feel their work goes unrecognized and efforts unappreciated.
On the other hand, the positive effects of frequent and appropriate praise and recognition are just as significant. When people are recognized for their efforts and made to feel a sense of pride in their accomplishments, they are dramatically more engaged in their work and will be motivated and driven to continue producing outstanding results.
As Sam Walton once explained, “Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.”
Nothing boosts self-esteem and encourages engagement like praise for work well done. How can you demonstrate this in your organization?