Every great leader knows the benefits of investing in their employees, but too many don’t know how to carry out one of the strongest forms of employee investments: acknowledgement.
In my work as a leadership coach, I’m able to work closely with leaders who are engaged in using acknowledgement to create a culture that keeps employees engaged, productive and fulfilled. It’s an approach with many benefits—including its effectiveness as a retention strategy. Here are some of the most important things you can do to acknowledge your employees:
Give feedback that is actually a gift. For many leaders, giving feedback means advising employees about areas for improvement. But I am a big believer in the idea that if you give feedback on what works, you’ll get more of it in return. No one is perfect and it’s important to guide people in improvement, but recognition and praise make your feedback a valued gift.
Listen to learn. My clients tend to be extremely smart. Like many leaders, they think they have all the answers—and sometimes they do. They lead with knowing what to say and do. But the best leaders make a point of listening to learn. They’re open to taking suggestions and they honor other people’s opinions. This kind of listening is foundation of making people feel valued.
Make it personal. Leaders are busy people. But when you take the time to connect personally, you make people feel special. It may be a phone call, a handwritten note, or recognition of a personal achievement outside work. What are your employees interested in? How are they giving back to their communities? Practice appreciating and celebrating these achievements.
Invest in their professional development. Employees who excel are always looking for ways to take themselves to the next level. If you can recognize and help meet this need, you can help them flourish and grow. If you don’t have funding for classwork and seminars, look for mentorships, professional associations, and other low-cost solutions.
Promote self-care. People may be willing to give everything they have to a job they love, but the result of that dedication is often a lack of work–life balance. It’s important that you send the right message with your behavior as well as your words. If you’re the kind of leader who works seven days a week and responds to emails and messages 24/7, your behavior is adding to your employees’ stress. Don’t just talk about self-care and the importance of taking time away from work—set an example and create a culture that reflects those priorities.
The bottom line of showing appreciation is letting your employees know you care about them. And there’s no better way to make that happen than to begin implementing some of these ideas. The results may change your organization and your leadership.
Lead from within: Follow the best practices of great leaders by giving your employees the acknowledgement and recognition they deserve.
#1 N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.