Amway co-founder, Rich DeVos gets a standing ovation when he speaks to Amway distributors—but not for the obvious reasons. Interviewed prior to a signing for his new book, Simply Rich, DeVos told a reporter that his company developed a culture of praise and recognition for doing a good job. Polite applause isn’t enough when someone is recognized by the giant corporation. DeVos believes people deserve recognition for their work, “We eagerly leap from our seat to applaud and show appreciation.”
You’ll have to admit it, that kind of reception to an organizational report sure beats a “Thanks, Jane” and a nod! The Corporate leader knows that affirming staff is a surefire way to motivate them to be their best.
Affirmation is fuel for staff members. Nothing fires them up faster or propels them further than hearing their leader sing their praises. Unfortunately, other demands often bump this down on a leader’s priority list.
Here are three simple, zero-prep ways to boost team morale by letting others know how much you value their presence and contribution.
1. Say what they do right. Look for it every day, and say it at least once a week. Hearing those two words “Great job!” is like a shot of adrenaline. They may be getting paid to excel at their job, but who wouldn’t like a “tip” along with their service?! Parents learn early that positive motivation brings positive results in child-raising. Managers know it, too.
2. Affirm the person as well as the performance. We’re not to the office robot stage—yet. People, not machines, carry out our organizational or corporate mission. And People long to be affirmed for who they are. “You’ve got a great sense of humor.” “Thank you for your smile!”
3. Make it public. Sure, it’s easy to send a text or email praise, but those aren’t likely to be circulated in the office. Say it loud and proud—and publicly. When teammates hear you lavish praise on others, it creates an environment of affirmation. They’ll begin to pay it forward!
Champion NASCAR driver, Jimmy Johnson, once said, “I’ve always looked for my affirmation through my peers, the people I race against, and within my team.” Johnson races in front of millions, but the applause of his inner circle is what motivates him. Affirm one of your team members today, and watch the results!
– Stan Toler