How often do you recognise people for doing their job? Not the over and above work, just the work that they are ‘paid’ to do. You know, the ordinary work that is part of their job.
By ‘recognise’ I mean a simple thank you or a quiet pointing out that you appreciate such and such being done.
Maybe a junior administrator completes photocopying tasks for you. Simply saying, “Thanks for getting that done so quickly, I appreciate it.” can go a long way to helping that person feel valued. When people feel valued they are more likely to keep repeating the (often) simple behaviours that have been recognised.
I’m not talking about going over the top and making a big deal about ordinary tasks. In fact, my experience indicates such behaviour would have a negative effect on your colleague.
Interestingly, I find quietly appreciating people for their efforts works just as well with children and adults outside of the work environment. I have five children of my own (aged from 15 to four) and am also heavily involved in junior sport where parental support is essential for the teams to function properly.
‘Catching‘ children doing the ‘right thing‘ and pointing it out helps them to repeat those good behaviours (although isn’t it interesting how many adults are very good at pointing out the poor behaviours that children do but completely miss pointing out the good behaviours! Then this pattern is repeated at work – only the poor work is noticed!).
Quietly and subtly thanking parents for their support also re-enforces the supportive behaviours. It doesn’t matter who does more or less in terms of contribution, what matters is that the jobs get done (and done properly!) and the team co-ordinators aren’t left ‘pulling teeth‘ to get parents to help them.
In simple terms, appropriately acknowledging people for doing the right thing at work, home and in community organisations simply makes life easier and more pleasant too! As Dan Pink says in the RSA Animate video below, treat people like people and organisations can make the world just a little bit better!
What simple, yet effective methods do you have for recognising people for ‘just doing their job‘?