The easiest way to have a positive impact on your colleagues is to tell them how much you value them. While supervisors and managers may try to use their words to encourage others, they often don’t do a great job. The good news is, using our words to encourage others is easily done, whether you are working onsite or remotely.
Here are a few simple tips to make your words of encouragement most effective and some common mistakes to avoid:
- Be personal and individualized. Statements of encouragement to a team are great, however, they are impersonal. Direct and specific communication to one person makes the affirmation more sincere.
- The more specific the better. One of the most common phrases team members don’t want to hear is “good job!”. The phrase is so generic it could be applied to any person at any time. Be sure to tell the employee specifically what you appreciate about them and their work.
Some specific suggestions:
- Leave an encouraging voicemail.
- Use sticky notes to write short messages of appreciation.
- Recognize them during a meeting or conference call and give them an example of something they did well.
- Tell them why what they did is important to you, the organization, or your clientele. While it may seem obvious why an employee’s work is valuable or desired, they often don’t understand the true impact of their actions. Framing encouragement in light of the big picture can make it more meaningful.
- Keep in mind that words are not equally important to everyone. In a study with over 100,00 employees, less than 50% want appreciation through words. That tells us that 50% of employees want appreciation in ways other than words. Seek information from your employees regarding how they best experience encouragement and how receptive they are to other avenues of affirmation.
How do you encourage others at work?
Excerpt from Paul White from appreciationatwork.com