At most startups and small businesses there are no weekends, no true vacations and hours turn into days and things get blurry. Working remotely with my clients, startups and contracts I am often impressed on the genuine acknowledge of my work, contribution and energy while also being public about the positive impacts and appreciation of the team.
A Few Myths:
- People feel appreciated when they receive stuff.
- Employees and workers are only motivated by pay, commission or other monetary motivations
- Feedback isn’t as valuable or helpful as annual reviews
- Just saying thank you is enough to make employees happy about their jobs
What makes people feel acknowledge and important isn’t in some expensive gift, a bonus check, an annual review or just a pat on the back here and there.
Employees that feel informed, motivated and inspired are generally happy, productive and willing to invest beyond the 9 to 5. If you whole team feel this ways, they will for sure be rock stars out performing any group or team that comes in suspicious, worried or disinterested.
10 Tips to Recognize Your Employees
- Ideas Are Treated as Unmined Gold: thinkspace does an excellent job of allocating wall real estate for just this reason. In their team room there is a door covered in sticky notes of ideas, and the stage that idea has made it to. Having a great idea make it to the door is fun, and also rewarding to watch it move from “Dream it” to “Done it”.
- Be Flexible: Show you trust your employees by offering flexibility. Allowing them to work remotely can be motivating and acknowledges them for being trust worthy.
- Invest: Employees that are eager to learn to improve their skills are precious. Sponsor opportunities for them to take classes, attend seminars and Innovation Time Off.
- Go Beyond Open Door: Keep employees informed to the health of the business. Having information about how the organization is doing, future initiatives helps keep everyone clear on the vision of the business. Having regular meetings is okay, yet make it part of your culture to talk about how employees fit into the success of the company and why.
- Align visions: Amazing to think that most issues are caused by miscommunication. Share feedback often and regularly to keep a focused approach. Easy to get caught up in the chaos of a million projects yet the big picture vision should always be clear.
- Reduce Meetings: Four hour long meetings in a day means a lot of talking and less work actually gets done. Being respectful of employees and schedule meetings that are absolutely necessary. The rest of messages can go through IM, email and coloration tools. All which are able to be personally managed when your employee has a moment to wrap up what they are currently working on.
- Giggle, laugh a little: Mix in some fun. Share a distraction for 30 seconds by watching a funny cat video or watching a little Jim Gaffigan. Whatever it is the break and quick laugh will bring down blood pressures and lighten the air.
- Party Time! Startups, small businesses even big businesses struggle with making time to celebrate. Celebrate success, seasons, birthdays whatever brings the team together for a job well done
- Mix Up Teams: Core teams are often well functioning. Acknowledge strengths and create new temporary teams to take on a project. Taking on new projects, getting to know each other and being seen as an asset are all positive elements for a foundation in strengthening relationships between your employees.
- Project Lead: Giving someone ownership of a project is a statement you think they can handle it. Start with jobs you know they will be successful at, yet however slightly challenging and announce that this person is the lead and decision maker.
What other tips do you have to acknowledge your team members?