Our friends at Globoforce do a fine job of helping organizations manage their recognition programs. Given that just about every respected piece of research on discretionary effort suggests that most of us hold about 30% of our potential effort in reserve, it makes a lot of sense to do what you can to tap into that potential. Recognizing individual worth, effort, and performance is one big way to do that.
Too often, when it comes to expressing appreciation, we get it wrong. For one thing, we almost always wait too long. I was reminded of that yesterday. It would have been my father’s 87th birthday. Though I talked with him nearly every day for the last 20 years, there are a lot of things that I failed to thank him for. It won’t do any good to list them here, because the one who deserves to hear it isn’t here any more.
The same thing happens with our workers. It’s not so much that they die on us. Rather, feeling taken for granted, they move on, or worse yet, check out even though they still come to work. Their discretionary effort accompanies them to work, and goes home with them at day’s end, unspent.
In our 2nd book, my co-author and business partner, Richard Hadden (whom I appreciate every day) suggested that unexpressed appreciation is a lot like a wrapped piece of fine chocolate… not very fulfilling until you take the wrapper off. So, as you go about your week, make it a point to “take the wrapper off” and let people know on a real time basis what you appreciate about them.
A thought leader in the arena of leadership and employee engagement, Bill Catlette is a seminar leader, keynote speaker, and executive coach. He helps individuals and organizations improve business outcomes by having a focused, engaged, capably led workforce. For more information about Bill, his partner Richard Hadden, and their work, please visit their website at www.contentedcows.com, or follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ContentedCows