The Top Three Communication Issues That Hold Leaders Back
The top three communication issues that hold leaders back:
- 63% – Not recognizing employee achievement.
- 57% – Not giving clear direction.
- 52% – Not having time to meet with employees.
(Source: Interact/Harris Poll)
5 ways to recognize achievement:
- Don’t give a trophy for everything. Give recognition for achievements. You demotivate top performers when you recognize people for showing up.
- Give new responsibilities. Honor extra effort by giving opportunities to shine in other places. Don’t overwhelm. Consider their career goals.
- Express gratitude specifically. Avoid, “Good job.” Describe what they did and how it impacted others.
- Notice and explain. “I noticed you’ve been in early every day this week. I respect your initiative.”
- Provide opportunities for growth. Employees feel they matter when you help them develop.
If you aren’t sure how to recognize team members, ask them. One leader told me, “I just like to hear my name up front once in a while.”
The heart of recognition isn’t a formula to get more out of people. It’s about value.
Recognition makes people feel valued.
An APA Workplace Survey found that, “Employed adults who report feeling valued by their employer are significantly more likely to report they are motivated to do their very best for their employer (93% vs. 33%).
You can try manipulative motivation techniques or you might just show people they’re valued.
Recognize behaviors that create your organization’s aspirational future.
Connect praise and recognition to aspirational vision. “We’re committed to build a positive work environment. The way you show interest in others takes us where we want to go.”
5 sentences that affirm and challenge in one breath:
Recognition isn’t about coddling. It’s about noticing good character, useful behaviors, and hard work.
- You have more in you.
- This is below your potential.
- You can do better.
- What will you do differently next time?
- Is this your best?
How might leaders effectively recognize employees?
What types of recognition work best for you?
I read that remote workers have more contact with their managers than the ones who show up and sit in the office as they walk by… THAT makes no sense. But years ago, I convinced a VP level guy to do a walk around with me with the people working for his third level manager in one of their large telemarketing offices.
I had been working on best practices and teamwork and performance and had told him about what we were doing and how people were sharing ideas and making measurable improvements. There were a couple of special projects going on, too. There were about 50 people spread at open cubbies in a large room.
HE SAID THE SAME EXACT THING TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM. Not commenting on pictures or asking any questions, just walking the room and saying, “Thanks for what you do and keep up the good work,” or something like that. (It was. horrible!!!). What a missed opportunity.
Do you think it made any of them, other than maybe the first one, feel very VALUED? (And this was a good guy, a nice person, who got stuck into “automatic” and operated with no awareness. Unusual???
Thanks Scott. The expression that comes to mind is “break the script.” Or, “Modify the script.”
The little hints in your comment are helpful. Notice pictures for example.
I think I have identified an issue around this. Many leaders/managers specifically ask in recruitment for staff who require minimal supervision, which is a reasonable expectation.
However, minimal supervision grows into “minimal interaction”, especially as workloads grow. The progression seems to be since your staff shouldn’t need much telling of what they do, so they shouldn’t need to be told that they’re doing it right, and therefore since they don’t need telling much at all, so you can use that time to do other things. You can see the logic/progression, provided you are prepared to ignore the human element…
Brilliant! Mitch. “Minimal supervision turns into minimal interaction….”
Leaders get sucked into spending too much time on problems and with poor performers. Pay attention to people who don’t need supervision. Pour energy into stars. Don’t ignore them because they are doing a good job.
Dan, comments to your blog post…
Our opportunity to give a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” to the various comments people make is an easy, quick way to provide recognition.
So the lesson–find quick easy ways to provide recognition to employees.
Bingo…Complexity makes everything slower and more difficult. We’re more likely to do something that’s simple, easy, and quick than something that’s complex, difficult, and slow.
I gave you a thumbs up. 🙂
How might leaders effectively recognize employees? As soon as someone deserves recognition give it then, not 6 months down the road, so timing is important. How? Take them out for coffee, brunch, or full scale meal, bonus in the check, or as you have stated Dan, “you guys did a wonderful project for ABC company they loved your work ethic, being on time, and staying late to be done on time”. Go beyond the basic “Good job”.
What types of recognition work best for you? Posting customer “accolades” in the open so everyone can recognize they are appreciated, one of the easiest for me. If I’m out in the field letting them know what I’m seeing good or bad, and letting them know the course of correction, “neatness matters” and sharing with them why..
“How might leaders effectively recognize employees?” – by being respectful of and talking to them respectfully, on an equal level, treating them as an equal!