HAPPY NEW YEAR, friends.
As we start a new year, I want to talk about three simple but extremely effective ways that you as a leader can support your team. Take stock in all of the things your team does to make the organization great, map all the goodness, and thank people for the work they do:
Thank Your Team Members When They Go Above and Beyond – While this is probably the most common type of recognition we give our team members, it can be surprisingly easy to unintentionally overlook excellent work, particularly when you have certain people who constantly exceed expectations. Those who go above and beyond should be thanked and encouraged to continue going above and beyond – not only will this inspire them, but will likely motivate and inspire other team members to follow the example being set.
Recognize the Importance of Those Who Make the Disciplined Daily Effort to Make the Organization Better - Don’t wait for your team members to go above and beyond, thank them today for the daily work they do to make your organization great. Exceptional above and beyond efforts are fantastic, but they are not enough to carry your organization day by day, and it is these consistent day to day efforts made by your team that keep driving your organization toward success.
Take Care of People Who Take Care of People – Without these people, the organization wouldn’t run, but it can be easy to overlook the incredibly important role they play in the overall success of your team. I’ve been a victim of having critical jobs that are matter of fact jobs, the jobs that the organization couldn’t work without, but that are just sort of there. These jobs and the people doing them are easy to take for granted. People forget that you are doing a lot, and like coal mining, the job never ends, you just go deeper into the mine. Make sure that they know, no kidding, their importance in the organization.
Most of us probably already do at least one or two of these on a regular basis, but at leaders, we should resolve to do all three every single week. We are responsible for demonstrating the behaviors we want other to apply – don’t talk about doing something or wanting to do something, just do it. Send the thank you text or email when your team member goes above and beyond, highlight daily accomplishments in team meetings, and make sure that the people who comprise the nuts and bolts of the organization know how valuable they are to the success of your overall team. Thank people in the presence of other people, either by email or in person. Set the example you want the rest of your team to follow.
As a leader, you need to make the conscious and visible effort to strengthen the fabric of the organization. Each team member gives texture, strength, and his or her own shading, and every one of the genuine moments described above reinforces the fabric they form together. You can’t tell which thread is which in the best fabrics, and in a larger context, this is the fabric of the organization. Doing these things will sustain the goodness and solidify the fabric of your organization, which is vital to for success.