Frequently when we discuss the importance of positive feedback and praise for employees, at least one seasoned supervisor will shoot back, “why do we need to thank them for doing their jobs? Isn’t that what we PAY them for?”
Well, yes, as a matter of fact, it is. And in that perfect world where all managers need to do to succeed is to follow the company handbook by the letter, that weekly paycheck alone is a guarantee of high-level performance and focused, productive proficiency.
Is that the world you live in? Me neither. We’re only human, and some days you get an “A”, some days you have to struggle for a “C-minus.” There’s no guarantee that providing your staff with a little positive feedback will always get results, but it certainly will help, and won’t EVER hurt.
The bottom line here, folks, though, is that it’s so EASY. The return on investment for a quick way-to-go email…or a praiseful post-it note…or even a candy bar or coffee card left on someone’s desk…can be enormous.
Think about all the communicating you do with your team in a typical day. How hard would it be to drop in a few words of thanks for their last good job before you assign the next one? Or if you’re a manage-by-walking-around type, a quick quip as you pass their desk—“hey, really appreciate your extra work yesterday”—costs you nothing and can earn big dividends.
We’ve all heard it a zillion times, but I’ll say it again—enhanced employee engagement leads to improved job performance. And the quickest way to get your staff to CARE about what they’re doing is to let them know it matters to you.
(It also signals the fact that you’re paying attention, which never hurts.)
If your company already has a S.T.A.R. employee recognition program of some type (“Special Thanks And Rewards”), that’s great—you’re ahead of the game. But it’s easy to get too busy to remember to use it. You might want to tag your calendar with a weekly reminder—“did I thank anyone this week?” If you’re not the outgoing, back-slapping type, don’t feel embarrassed about needing to remind yourself.
In the long run, who knows, maybe the nay-sayers are right, maybe going the extra mile shouldn’t be required to ensure a job well done. But it’s awfully easy, and it works awfully well…and almost always generates a pretty good ROI.
Give it a try, and you may find that extra mile is a lot shorter that you think—maybe as short as the distance between your office and all those other desks.
Grow Big or Go Home!