This is for leaders in the middle of the work pushing through to the end of the year. As you plod ahead making plans and monitoring change take a moment and celebrate with your team! A TED TALK I defer to on this subject is by Dan Ariely. He talks about how we take pride in our work and find meaning in it when we feel celebrated and recognized for it.
“So when we think about labor, we usually think about motivation and payment as the same thing, but the reality is that we should probably add all kinds of things to it — meaning, creation, challenges, ownership, identity, pride, etc.” ~ Dan Ariely
As a leader, you are there to help push your organization in the right direction, and a part of that involves CELEBRATING EVERY victory. Every new positive development, every new opportunity, every break through no matter how small is evidence that your team’s influence and impact are growing. Congratulate them! Recognize how difficult it has been for them to work together considering their varied backgrounds, work experiences, and personalities. As the captain of this ship, you are more powerful than you realize. Keep putting yourself out there and intentionally building key relationships with your employees, or students, or teachers, or principals. Your team will perform if they believe you believe in them. You are a leader even when all great ideas do not come from you. By putting the right people in place and giving them work that matters, you have created the conditions for their success! Here are three quick ways to show your students/teachers/principals/employees that you care about the work they do from Forbes and Harvard Business Review:
- Be Authentic- when showing appreciation do it publicly, in a timely manner, and be specific about what went well. This reinforces what you are looking for and helps to build a real relationship with your team
- Make it Fun- appreciation does not have to be big ticket items. It can be small gifts or a rotating trophy or fun gift cards in small amounts. Not only do these feel more personal, they give you a big bang for your buck
- Provide growth opportunities. If an employee/student/teacher/principal is going above and beyond stretch their capacity by trusting them with an increasing amount of responsibility and contribution. This will not only cause them to feel valued but broaden their perspective of the work that needs to be done
- I know I said three BUT this one is extra! Get to know them and provide recognition in a way that is valuable to them. I have worked at many places where all employees received the same kind of recognition. Because it was impersonal, it did not feel as significant. Show that you know more than you let on by doing something that matters to the employee you want to recognize i.e. giving them a car was certificate because they always say they want to go but never have time. Giving them a gift card to a place they frequent or giving them the chance to push in and contribute more at work
Bring as much attention as you can to your wins while simultaneously building relationships and watch your both your team and influence grow. Remember to lead is to constantly learn and while others may not tell you the truth, I always will. You have to celebrate the wins with your team and let them know you appreciate them if you want to move them to the next level. ~ Dr. Kia