Why Acknowledgements Matter: To The Team Leader And The Team Members

William James, the father of psychology, stated that the most fundamental psychological need is to be appreciated. Everyone wants to feel appreciated for the work we do. For leaders, the payoff for showing your appreciation is that your team members will do more for you. Team leaders often believe they are more appreciative of their members than the team thinks they are. The same can be said of team members themselves. Sometimes they don’t appreciate their fellow members or their leaders.

If you’ve ever felt your employees don’t respect you it could be because they don’t feel like you appreciate them. You fail to acknowledge them and their hard work for you.

When you lose their respect, your authority and control quickly becomes undermined.

Acknowledging your team members is a positive way to interact with them and it can boost their respect for you. Acknowledge their hard work and the results they are getting. Reinforce the behaviors you want to see most often. When you see your employees doing something right, acknowledge it. Try to do this often. Be sincere and specific though, instead of blurting out an automatic “Good job”. As a leader you need to take the time to thoughtfully explain your appreciation for the actions by the team member.

As an example you could say, “Jason, I really appreciate how you quickly took action to resolve the issue that customer had without causing a delay in our delivery schedule. That makes a big difference for our company.”

Showing appreciation for your team members’ efforts puts motivates and inspires them to do their best work.

If you feel like you’ve been under-acknowledging your team members, take control and start showing more appreciation. Your actions could motivate others to follow your example as well. And it makes you feel good when you give appreciation.

Here are 5 tips on how to begin to give acknowledgment to the people you work with:

  1. Acknowledge work you see well done on a regular basis. Be as specific or general as the situation calls for. Start with something small like nice job and move up to bigger kudos if you aren’t used to giving acknowledgments.
  2. Listen to what others are really saying to you. It feels good when someone listens to you about an idea you have on a project or a challenge you are trying to work through on something. Put away your electronic devices, close your computer screen and listen to your co-worker.
  3. Become interested in your team members lives. Ask them basic questions about their favorite hobbies or their family. People feel appreciated when they know you are interested in their lives outside of work.
  4. Offer training and further education opportunities. Give team members work challenges that will stretch them to grow and learn. Be there if they have questions.
  5. Simply say “thank you.” It goes a long way in making someone feel appreciated for their work.

It’s part of human nature to want to feel appreciated and that we make a difference. It’s a great way for both team leaders and team members to earn the respect and trust of each other. Take the time to show your appreciation for the work your co-worker does.

Why Acknowledgements Matter
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