Why You Have to Be Your Team's Top Cheerleader
I recently wrote about managing expectations and how it's such an underutilized skill.
I've been thinking about that a lot as my email-marketing company, VerticalResponse, marches toward an important launch. As we've gotten closer and closer to the big day, and more and more things have been checked off our punch list, I've been keeping the team informed with real-time emails to make sure everyone knows exactly where we are and what's happening day to day, since we're all moving so fast.
An important function of these emails is to make sure all the teams and individuals that have been killing it for months on end are acknowledged and appreciated. It's so easy to get caught up in the onslaught of timelines and deadlines and forget to say a simple, "Thanks!"
If you've neglected to be your team's biggest cheerleader, I'm here to give you two simple reasons why it might be time to bust out your pom-poms and give 'em a great big RAH!
Please and Thank You
Ever since we were little kids, our parents and teachers drilled it into us to say "please" and "thank you."
And with good reason. Everyone enjoys a little appreciation and gratitude from time to time. But say you're the kind of manager or boss who doesn't believe in that fluffy stuff. You might find your team becoming a bit disgruntled and feeling less than satisfied. The last thing you want on your hands is a mutiny when you can avoid it by merely showing some simple gratitude.
I once knew an employee who didn't care for praise. She coined the phrase, "strokes walk, money talks," but she was rare. What I've found in more than 13 years at the helm is that "thank" and "you" are two of the most powerful and motivating words out there.
The funny thing about praise is once you start doing it, it breeds...and in a good way. When you lead by example and set a culture of gratitude, others in your company catch the wave and ride it with you.
A retail-store manager I know started managing an underperforming store with a pretty disgruntled staff. On her first day she created a "thank you" board and hung it in the back room of the store. She told the staff that is was a place they could openly share their appreciation for anyone on the team.
In just a few days, the board was filled with gratitude statements for things big and small. And guess what? As the culture started to shift to a more positive one, customers started to have better experiences because employees were happier and providing better service. That store shot from being at the bottom of the barrel to winning a regional holiday sales contest in just two quarters.
Look around your company. Got a bunch of grumpy cats? Shake up some real, genuine gratitude and watch it take hold.