Pretty much every business owner or leader I know would proudly say that one of their greatest assets, if not their outright greatest asset, is their people. They willingly acknowledge the importance of their people in virtually every area of their operation.
Those same owners and leaders will then somewhat sheepishly say that they just don’t have time to provide consistent recognition to those important people.
When asked what they are doing that’s more important than recognizing their people they have no response. That leads me to believe that whatever they are doing is less important than recognizing their people. Any leader who does less important things before the more important things is greatly limiting their success.
People need recognition almost as much as they need air to breathe. People need to know that they matter and the work they do matters. It is almost humanly impossible for a person to perform up to their potential without some form of recognition to confirm that what they do is worthwhile.
I’m not suggesting that you give recognition where none is due; what I am recommending is that you look a little deeper at your team to find a valid reason for providing positive feedback. I’d also say that if you have someone working for you that has gone any length of time without providing you with a reason to recognize them then perhaps they are in the wrong role.
Many leaders who read this will evaluate their own recognition efforts and be comfortable that they provide recognition to their people whenever they have time. Some leaders provide recognition in their free time, some in their spare time and some in their extra time.
What they fail to realize is that there is no free, spare, or extra time on their calendars so they rarely if ever provide their people with the recognition they so desperately need. They think they do until they are asked when exactly was the last time they provided meaningful recognition to one of their people. (Here’s a hint; if you don’t know when the last time was that you provided recognition to a member of your team then it’s been too long)
Many of the most effective leaders I know recognize at least one of their people everyday. They set reminders for themselves, they are always on the lookout for what goes right and they seldom miss an opportunity to give credit where credit is due.
If you’re looking for ways to motivate your team, if you’re looking for ways to keep your people engaged, if you want your people to know that their efforts matter then don’t overlook the importance of providing consistent meaningful feedback and recognition.
Recognizer in Chief is one of the most important roles of a leader. It’s also too often the most forgotten. Don’t forget, recognize someone today!