The room is dark, but I know there are 400 HR Professionals out there waiting to be inspired. As I step on stage, I realize they have gathered here to find out ways they can improve retention in their corporations. And after the turnover recently experienced, they want something they can use NOW.
“What is the #1 motivator in the workplace?” I begin.
Instantly I hear many different voices shout “MONEY!” which is the answer I most often get. However, a quick web search will show APPRECIATION actually tops that list. Employees want to be acknowledged for their successes, as well as for their efforts in the face of failures.
But what does Appreciation look like on the ground level?
Here is a simple 4 step guide how to show appreciation:
- Identify the Situation – This is an opportunity to single out an employee and be very specific about what they are doing that is making a positive impact on the team, the project, or even the bottom line. In this example “Jackson” has been perusing small town on-line newspapers to try to discover ways that his company “Community Crew” (a start-up that creates and curates local Virtual Community Centers) can spotlight young people who are making a positive influence on their respective communities.
- Describethe Behaviors – What is the employee specifically doing that is making a difference. In this case Jackson is taking 20 minutes out of every morning to search through the “Online Search” results he has put in place. Once he finds a relevant story about a young person doing good in one of the Client Communities, he sends a brief write up (with photo if possible) to the Content Manager of that area’s Virtual Community Center.
- Share the Impact – Here is where the magic happens. Let the employee know exactly how their initiative has been making a positive difference. This is especially powerful if you share your praise publicly, as it will magnify the positive impact on Jackson as well as inspire the rest of the team.
- Thank the Employee.
So the entire conversation looks this:
“(1) Hey Jackson, can I chat with you for a moment about the on-line searching you have been doing around positive youth projects in our client communities?
(2) The way you identify these outstanding young people and summarize what they are doing, makes it so easy for the Content Manager to quickly feature them as outstanding members in the Virtual Community Center. The speed with which we are able to share good news like this makes it relevant on a daily basis.
(3) The impact is our Virtual Community Center engagement numbers are up 17% with the majority listing the positive youth spotlights as the main reason they log in every day. Another impact is that more youth are actively seeking opportunities to make a positive difference and several are sharing best practices across the areas.
(4) Thank you for the work you are doing and the way it is helping our Virtual Community Centers and the residents they serve!”
This conversation takes all of two minutes, costs absolutely zero dollars, and is the single most effective way to increase employee engagement and workplace optimism and happiness.
Oh, and wait until you see the power it has at home!