How long does it take to say “Thanks….” – to express your appreciation, regard, recognition, and encouragement to a team member for something they’ve done?
What the person has done doesn’t have to be a huge thing. In fact it could be one of those tiny, everyday occurrences that may seem relatively insignificant yet made a difference to how the day, or even the past hour, went. For you, for the team, for your customers.
I bet you can do it in under five seconds flat.
Try it – take 5 and express how you value someone’s contribution, their expression of your core values, and your appreciation of their intrinsic motivations.
Any channel will do. If you want to be daring, do it within earshot/eyesight of others on your team. Mind you, this is not to be some forced pollyanna praise and stroke bullshit, but genuine stuff, with concrete and recent examples. Be direct. Be specific. Be sincere. Go ahead, try it now. (I can wait :P)
Toolbox for Social Sharing
When we’re all in the same physical location it’s easy to give public shout outs to celebrate an accomplishment.
One can give kudos at the daily stand up, or ring a physical bell or gong that resonates across the entire office when a team has shipped something.
But how does a distributed team keep that same sense of connection and celebration? While a monthly all hands meeting is one possibility, the mentions of accomplishments are all too fleeting.
All of the following have feeds and/or a slack integration that allows you to share your props with your team/company:
- kudobox.co “An easy way to share your thanks”
- TinyPulse “Cheers for Peers”
- bonus.ly “Workplace Happiness”
- propsboard.com “Team recognition for the 21st century” ( 🙁 no longer available. Was a nice idea…)
- Kudo Cards “Make a positive change movement”
- Reflektive “Real time feedback”
And if you are feeling old school:
- Mail ’em a Post-it® note for them to stick on their monitor
Go Ahead, Make a Difference
This idea is not “something new.” In fact it’s as old as our brain chemistry. I first heard of it via Disney and their approach to “Creating Magic” and then again via Jurgen Appelo’s Management 3.0’s #workouts.
It is based on the belief that we all do our best – and even strive to do better – if we regularly have the experience that what we do matters, that it is valuable, and that our presence makes a difference to others.
I have personally observed that these types of rewards are, as Jurgen writes in Managing for Happiness, “more effective, more sustainable, and usually cost less less money” than extrinsic motivations, like promised year end bonuses. Recognizing individual contributions to team goals makes everyone – the recipient, the giver, and those observing – feel great.
Props/kudo’s/take 5’s work towards creating an atmosphere, a system, where people will enjoy their work, be highly engaged and motivated, and yes, improve their performance.
For the teams I work with it’s not the “redemption of bonus points” that drive us forward, but more the compliment, the fact that we know that someone noticed our individual contribution and took the time to say “thanks.” These interactions build team cohesion, rapport, trust, and safety. All necessary conditions for high performance teamwork.
What do you do to say thanks?
Share your ideas via a comment below…