‘’When people are appreciated by the boss, they will appreciate the boss more as well.’’ – Aoife O’Brien.
Welcome back to Happier at Work. To continue the unhappiness at work theme, this week’s solo episode focuses on employee recognition: the key to a happy workplace. Recognising your staff comes with many benefits; it drives development, builds trust and boosts employee job satisfaction, to name but a few.
As businesses across the globe continue to navigate their way through the great resignation, Aoife discusses how recognising staff and effectively providing employee feedback can help retain talent and build a happy workplace. Aoife also reminds us that people tend to leave bosses more so than organisations, reveals the impact of a lack of recognition at work, and offers effective feedback strategies that you can implement straight away. The main points throughout the episode include:
– Communicating effectively with employees.
– The impact of lack of recognition at work.
– Building trust in the workplace.
– Mastering impactful employee recognition.
– Aoife’s experience of delivering feedback on performance.
– How to demonstrate employee appreciation.
– Don’t forget to celebrate the small wins too!
– Creating a suitable space for providing constructive feedback.
– The importance of understanding your team.
– Challenge time: who can you recognise today?
THE LISTENERS SAY:
Do you have any feedback or thoughts on this discussion? If so, please connect with Aoife via the links below and let her know. Aoife would love to hear from you!
Gallup: Workplace consulting and global research.
Connect with Happier at Work host Aoife O’Brien:
Aoife O’Brien 00:00
Are you looking to improve employee engagement and retention? Do you struggle with decisions on who to hire or who to promote? I have an amazing opportunity for forward thinking purpose-led people first organisations to work with me on the first pilot Happier at Work program for corporates. The program is entirely science backed and you will have tangible outcomes in relation to employee engagement, retention, performance and productivity. The program is aimed at people leaders with responsibility for hiring and promotion decisions. If this sounds like you, please get in touch at Aoife@happieratwork.ie. That’s A O I F E at firstname.lastname@example.org. You’re listening to the Happier at Work podcast. I’m your host Aoife O’Brien. This is the podcast for leaders who put people first, the podcast covers four broad themes, engagement and belonging, performance and productivity, leadership equity, and the future of work. Everything to do with the Happier at Work podcast relates to employee retention, you can find out more at email@example.com.
Hello, and welcome back to another solo episode of the Happier at Work podcast. I’m so delighted to have you join me today. In keeping with this theme of unhappiness at work in these solo episodes, today’s topic is all about recognition, or rather the lack of recognition in organisations, which is something that came through from the post I did on on LinkedIn a couple of months ago now at this stage. And this idea of a lack of feedback or a lack of recognition at work was something that was very relatable. Now, upon doing a little bit more research around this, I found that, according to Gallup, it’s actually the number one reason people leave their jobs and thinking, you know, taking a stretch on this if if, if we know of this concept that people leave bosses rather than organisations, and this could be a powerful disincentive for people to stay at work is if they’re not being recognised. So they will tend to leave a boss if they’re not providing them with that recognition, or showing a level of gratitude for their performance, or their behavior. So recognising people at work does make them happier. So I don’t have particular stats around that. But I do know that it increases levels of happiness at work and increases levels of productivity, engagement increases by 2.7 times those of people who are not being recognised at work, and it increases trust as well in senior leaders, so 90% of people who receive some sort of recognition or thank you from their immediate boss in the last month, felt like they trusted the more senior leaders in the organisation, versus 48% of people who didn’t receive any sort of recognition at all. So it is really important. And I think it’s probably something that’s relatively easy to do. But it’s also something that people forget to do. So if I recount my own experience of being, you know, my team coming to me in a couple of instances, two separate people asking for feedback on their performance asking for that, that type of recognition. And you know, appreciation of what it was that they were doing, I made the incorrect assumption that because they were doing a really good job, that they knew they were doing a really good job, but they need that reassurance, or they needed that reassurance from me, as I’m sure if you’re thinking of people within your team, they need that reassurance from you as well, that they are performing well that they are doing a good job that they are on the right track. So a couple of thoughts to share around this recognition, really is a show of gratitude, or it doesn’t necessarily have to have all of the bells and whistles in order for it to be effective. So thinking about who is doing the recognition. Recognition can come from a few different places it can come from direct peers. So if you worked with someone alongside with someone else on a project, for example, being recognised for the contribution that you made, or even just as simple as saying, Thank you for the contribution that you made or, you know, something like that, versus coming from a boss. So thinking about, you know, how you as a leader can recognise people in your own team by appreciating the work that they’re contributing, or just by saying thank you, you know, if they’ve been putting in extra hours, if they’ve shown a particular type of behavior or attitude in the face of some particular challenges if they’ve performed something particularly well, if they’ve achieved something in their project in their day to day work life that you want to recognise in some way as well.
And that kind of brings me on to another point around so it doesn’t necessarily have to be recognition of a particular task that they have achieved, it can be in relation to recognising a demonstration of the values of the organisation. If you want to know more about values, that’s something I talk about quite a bit on the podcast, or feel free to reach out to me directly to ask a little bit more about that. So you’ve got the values piece, but then, you know, that kind of ties in with this idea of behavior, and attitudes that people show as well. So so it doesn’t necessarily have to be a specific project related or task related achievement, it can be in relation to behavior, think about it as well, that can be the big wins. But it can also be the small day to day activities, the small day to day behaviors that someone is demonstrating as well. I always liked this concept of catching someone doing something right and recognising them for it rather than the typical response. And maybe the easier one is to catch people doing something wrong, because you know, what, what needs to be done. And it’s so so much easier to spot, what’s going wrong, or what people are doing wrong. Now, the other thing to bear in mind in relation to this is that it doesn’t have to be a big fancy thing. It can be something that’s done in private, and in a one to one conversation. It can be merely saying thanks, and showing your appreciation, showing your level of gratitude for their contribution to the team for their contribution to the work for demonstrating, as I mentioned, those behaviors, those attitudes that you espouse in the organisation. The important thing, I think really here is to be specific about it. So provide some context around it. So be specific about the contribution that it made, or the impact that what you observed had of within the team within the work that they were doing. So be really, really specific. And I’ve seen some examples, you know, and the, you know, popular culture TV, let’s say where people have just blindly blindly said, Oh, thanks, I appreciate that. But they didn’t give context for why they really appreciate something for the impact that what that person did had, maybe on the rest of the team, or within, you know, within a project that they were working on. So by recognising that specific behavior in that specific context, it welcomes more of that behavior, as well. So it’s not just about saying thanks. And that’s a one off, it shows people what’s expected and what’s appreciated in the organisation. And when, when people are appreciated by the boss, and they will appreciate the boos more as well. The other thing that I haven’t mentioned up to now is this idea of the whether you do feedback, or whether you give appreciation in public versus in private. And I think this very much goes down to the individual, there are some people who don’t like to be recognised in public. There are some people who kind of shy away from that, and would much prefer to be recognised just in private on their own, or in a smaller group within their team, for example. So understanding that about people is really important so that you know, whether or not it’s acceptable, whether or not as the what they would appreciate being recognised in public, or equally, if you’re only recognising someone in a one to one meeting, knowing that they would appreciate that public recognition. So being called out in a town hall meeting, being called out in a team meeting, something like that. So having a think about that, and really understanding that about the people that you work with the people in your team. So challenge for you now is to think about someone who you could give a particular piece, not a piece of feedback, but rather a recognition. So who, who can you recognise today, who’s done a really great piece of work? Who has demonstrated the values of your organisation who has shown a really great attitude? And how can you give that feedback to them? How can you give that recognition to them? Do you want to do that socially in a public forum? Or do you want to do it privately? Is this going to be someone who is a peer? Is this someone who’s going to be in your team? Or is this this could even be directly to your own manager? And what are you going to recognise them for? So that’s a challenge for you and I would love to know how you get on with that. Did you do it? Was it scary? Was it hard? You know, I think we underestimate the importance of providing recognition at work, when it’s such a simple thing to do. Maybe sometimes it gets over complicated that you don’t have the systems in place. But a simple verbal thank you can really, really go a long way.
I’d love for you to get involved in the conversation. To continue it on further, I’d love to hear how you get on as well. Do feel free to reach out to me through the website happieratwork.ie, through Instagram @happieratwork.ie or through LinkedIn. I always love connecting with new people on LinkedIn just mention where you have found out about me from. My LinkedIn is Aoife O’Brien and I look forward to hearing from you. That was another episode of the Happier at Work podcast. I’m so glad you tuned in today. If you enjoyed today’s podcast, I would love to get your thoughts, head on over to social media to get involved in the conversation.
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