One of the highest number of complaints I have heard from Team Members centers around
I have found so many people that have quite their job simply because they did not feel appreciated. I’ve asked, “Was the job too hard? “No,” they say. “Was the pay not good enough?” “The pay was fine,” they shrug. So why quit? “I felt unnoticed” is the condensed reply I so often get.
I understand this completely from the leadership side. It is hard to remember to thank your team members. You may have even gotten to the point, as you are trying your hardest to stay afloat with all the things that need to be done, saying “They are thanked by the pay they receive.”
The issue is the pay happens and then becomes apart of the job just like any bonus or commission you might pay them. The thing any team member will remember is not necessarily how much they were paid by you or your organization, but how you made them feel. This is the same thing we often say about our customers, and it rings true in both cases.
The simple solution is to show your team the appreciation they really want, and this can be done at the first line supervisor level! Even if your organization does not have any type of awards program. This doesn’t have to hold you back in your team. You could go the extra mile and spend your own money and design a small thank you item for your team members, and I know of some leaders that have done this ad it was well received. However, there is a free version… See the Practice section of this post for First-line Supervisors
Would it be beneficial to implement a Team Member Awards Program? This doesn’t have to be a high cost giant event with trophies. Maybe your organization could design 3 simple pins that could then be worn as part of the uniform that identify behaviors the organization wants to draw particular attention to? See the Practice section of this post for Organization Awards Program.
Make it a habit to find things individuals are doing on your team to thank them for or to point out and applaud in front of the team during a team huddle time. Keep in mind it’s important to understand if they are much more introverted maybe acknowledging them in a way other than in front of everyone will be more appropriate.
As a leader we can be bad at this because we have a lot going on. But this is of the utmost importance and should be given some focus and attention. This can build a better team and increase production from your individual team member if done properly.
Warning! The worst way to do this is the way you might be thinking. You might think you have to play “catch up” and you lay it on thick and thank everyone for every little thing in hope that they know you appreciate them. But this will harm more than help. Think about finding something every week or at least once a month instead of every day to appreciate.
Recommendation! Take the time to write down when you see something a team member has done that was particularly great and then take the time to thank them for it later that day. Also, a good practice would be to then have that record for when employee review come around. You can then use very specific examples in their review and get bonus points from them when they hear you remembered what they did.
Organization Awards Program: If you are a larger organization I would love to recommend, if you do not do so already, creating an awards program. You could do so with 3 small pins that can be worn with the uniform. The reason I say pins is that they can be proudly displayed on a uniform and seen everyday by other team members as a reminder that we as an organization appreciate and reward. Here are some ideas for award pins. Feel free to explore your own ideas for awards within your organization.
Pin 1 – Cultural Giant Pin – Obviously these names can be changed, but this award would be given annually to the team member that is seen as someone that displays the organization’s culture, mission and values.
Pin 2 – Customer Service Pin – this can be an award given to a team member once they have received a certain number of positive comments from customers or clients.
Pin 3 – New Idea Pin – This is an award that can be give to a team member that brings up a great idea for the organization that improves some system within the company.
If you are a first line supervisor and you think this would be a good idea, don’t be afraid to bring it up to your supervisor. If this has the support of multiple first line supervisors, it could have a dramatic effect on your overall organization. Who knows, you might be the first winner of the New Idea Pin.
Q: Our organization might require a different type of program. Can we get some help designing a program specific to us?
A: Yes, we would love to help your organization design an awards program that will encourage the behaviors you want to see as well help show appreciation for your team to encourage retention.
Please contact us at email@example.com
Q: I’m a first line supervisor that would like some advice in improving the appreciation I give my team, can you help?
A: We would love to help, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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