Passion and hard work often result from the affirmations employees hear from their boss, manager and colleagues. Workers don’t just crave a paycheck; respect is as important as money!
Appreciation can motivate employees to work harder. Saying “thank you” or “good job” is easy. There are countless ways to show respect and support for employees and co-workers.
The most memorable supervisor I’ve worked with was a Vice President who consistently said, “I hire people who are smarter than me in what they do best.” He encouraged his staff to try new things, to “think outside of the box”. His response, when any one of them asked for approval was, “I trust everyone in this office. The request you should be thinking through is what support you’ll need from everyone else.” Seldom did anyone fail; when that did happen his response was, “You did a good job. Let’s look at what we learned and do better next time.”
We add value to people’s lives by genuinely listening to them and regularly expressing gratitude and respect for who they are and what they do. When that happens, we open doors to a happier, more efficient, communication-driven team. Building this culture also paves the way for a smoother, more sincere conversation when harder conversations have to take place.
A study by the online career site, Glassdoor, revealed that more than 80 percent of employees say they are motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work, compared to the less than 40 percent who are inspired to work harder when their boss is demanding or because they fear losing their job (survey link below).
Respect is frequently demonstrated through recognition. It’s as easy as recognizing someone and their accomplishments at a team meeting or in a company newsletter, in a trade publication or a local newspaper. Purchase $25 gift certificates to local restaurants and retail stores and award them monthly to folks who have earned the awards through performance or other preset benchmarks. Distribute company pens, pads, mousepads, baseball hats, T-Shirts, etc. to every employee every quarter to inspire respect and build pride.
Companies should function as communities. Respect is a necessary element for this to be possible. We spend many hours of our lives working. A company’s greatest return on investment is the satisfaction of their employees. Whether you are a CEO, owner or employee, respecting and appreciating the people around you will change your life as well as your workplace.
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