Whenever Matt did a great job achieving his targets, his boss thanked him and added a but. “Well done, BUT keep it up next quarter, we are not out of the woods yet,” he would say. Everything after the ‘but’ drowned his appreciation for the excellent work Matt had done. His boss was old school. He had no time for soft stuff, believing it was all about results. People would take their foot off the pedal if he acknowledged their good work, he thought.
It is all too easy to postpone celebrating success because we are not done yet. But we never reach the finish line. Whether it’s achieving a sales target, completing a complex project, or delivering a new product to market. Whatever we achieve, the goalposts move to the next thing. What Matt’s boss failed to realise was lack of appreciation was a key factor in Matt deciding he did not want to stay with the company.
In fact, a ten-year, 200,000-person study of Managers and Employees by OC Tanner Learning Group found that 79 percent of employees who quit their jobs say a lack of appreciation is a major reason for leaving. But they also found evidence worldwide that recognition is an accelerator. It drives behaviours that are linked to employee engagement. Their research showed engagement scores as much as two or three times higher when a manager offered frequent, specific, and timely recognition.
Being appreciated motivates people to greater heights. When we stop and acknowledge their progress toward a stretch goal, we build a stronger foundation for the future. Once you communicate your appreciation, you have built a foundation to discuss what’s next.
🙋 What are the tangible ways leaders can show their appreciation in your experience? 🙋♀️
Best regards, Brian