We spend a lot of our waking hours at work. For most of us, that’s 40 hours a week, 48 weeks in a year. That is a lot of time invested into a single thing. Having that in mind, it is very difficult to imagine spending all that time doing something no one bothers to acknowledge. That would suck!
Sadly, there are many people going to work not feeling up to it, but doing it just because they have to make money somehow. Well, to all leads, supervisors and managers out there, I say, “It’s high time we started helping those people feel appreciated“. If you’re one of those already doing it, kudos to you. Just keep up the good work.
Making people feel appreciated is really not a rocket science. In fact, it’s very simple and it takes very little time, but it does require attention and, more than anything else, willingness to do it. In this article, I’ve listed 5 ways I’ve been using as a manager to motivate my team and make them feel appreciated at work.
1. ASK FOR THEIR OPINION
There is a reason you have a team. If you could do it all by yourself, then you wouldn’t need a team, right?! So, if you’ve got a team, make sure to ask them for their opinion on topics and issues at hand. Each of your team members is good at something so why not use that expertise when it’s within your reach (sometimes, literally)?
I know it’s hard to let go and sometimes it’s even easier to do something on your own, but remember that you don’t have to do it that way. In addition to that, asking for someone else’s opinion may result in generating great ideas you wouldn’t think of on your own.
By showing interest in the knowledge and ideas of your team and coworkers, you are showing them that they are valued and appreciated and they will, in return, value you more for it.
2. HEAR THEM OUT
Being interrupted as you speak is so annoying, not to mention rude. Yes, I know some people like to talk more than you have the time to listen to, but let them talk. You can always have a 1-on-1 talk with that person later and explain that s/he needs to be a bit more concise the next time.
Not letting people complete their thought or speak up when they have something to share says that you don’t really care about their opinion, which is not a culture you want to create in your company and/or team. Even if you’re not doing it intentionally, make sure to work on your reactions and change them accordingly because you’ll end up working with people who have nothing to say and that usually means that they’ve stopped trying.
3. TRUST THEIR JUDGEMENT
This is especially important for senior people on your team. Once you’ve been working with someone for quite some time, you’re most definitely at a point where you know what he or she can and cannot do. If that’s the case, then just let them do their job and make sure to check in on them from time to time. Trust them that they know what they’re doing.
It takes time to reach this stage, but I always enjoy it very much. I try really hard to train every person I work with to be responsible and accountable for their work. That way, when they want to do something, they know I trust them to go ahead and get the job done. There are many ways to do it, but my favorite one is definitely through questions.
If you’re often giving advice or telling people how to do something, you could be diminishing their sense of autonomy. But if you are asking questions designed to guide them to finding their own solutions, then you are leaving them in control. – David Burkus
It’s worked for me every single time. You just need to learn how to ask the right questions and guide people accordingly.
4. RECOGNIZE THEIR SUCCESS
People love praise. Hearing a “well done”, “you’ve done a great job”, “that was so good, you did great” makes us feel good about the work we do, the place where we work and about ourselves.
Sometimes, we get so focused on the progress that we forget that it is people who are the ones responsible for that progress. Don’t be shy when it comes to praise. It’s such a small gesture but it means so much to the other person.
5. REMEMBER THE DETAILS
As a team leader, it is your job to care for the people you work with. Sometimes, that means asking about their day, their family or anything else along those lines. Yes, I know that life is busy and it’s hard to keep up with everything, but when at work, be at work.
You’d be surprised by how much it means to people when their team leader asks about a kid’s play or that doctor’s appointment, or getting that car fixed. It’s minute, I know, and not so relevant in the grand scheme of things, but when it comes to your relationship with the team, it can mean the world on some days. So, whenever you can, try to remember those details. Your team will greatly appreciate you as their leader for it.
Well, there you go. As I said, it’s pretty simple but it does require effort and some will on your part. It really is up to you as a leader to decide whether you want to do it or not, but really, I don’t see the harm in it whereas the benefits are massive, wouldn’t you agree?
Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below. I’d love to read them.
Until the next article, keep learning and growing.