Showing Appreciation to Your Team

This week’s LIFEies topic is about the people you spend a lot of your day with — your work team. Since the pandemic started (and even before) I’ve asked myself some questions about building my team. How can we work with our team on a weekly basis to grow our culture, make our team stronger, and simply make working for us better? The below article gives some ideas, but here are some of my thoughts:

-Have some fun. We work in a very stressful industry. Heck, these days, all of us work in a stressful industries. We want to foster the ability to work, make mistakes, feel empowered, and still have fun. Conduct a “stay” interview to get real-time feedback on your work environment from your teammates.

-Get to know your team. It’s important to check in regularly, get to know your team and let them get to know you.  Maybe that sounds old school but in some ways, I think it’s more important today than ever before.  Live from a center of caring.

-Figure out what you should stop doing.   Ask your team, what are we doing that we should not be?  Listen to them, make them part of the solution.

There is a war for talent.  Establishing a better workplace is becoming paramount. How are you staying connected with your team? I would love to hear your strategies.

Rule # 7   from my book The Fantastic Life: Be Value Driven
How are your company/team/personal values reflected in the way you interact with your team? Do you treat your teammembers the way you want to be treated? Do you work from a place of caring? What values do you share and act on together?


3 Ways to Show Appreciation for Your Workplace Team


By: Chirs Hutchinson | Published on December 2, 2021

How do I help people who are staying with us know I really care?


(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

What a great question! While it’s socially encouraged to express your thanks to employees at the end of the year, there is nothing more important than for people to know they matter. You care about them as part of the organization and as an individual all year long.

Great leaders consistently live from a center of caring and compassion. Great leaders understand people are the only way to accomplish their organization’s mission. And great leaders know work is a lot more fun when people care about each other.

Whether or not “The Great Resignation” has shown up in your business, now is a great time to take a deep breath and check in with your team. Those who are staying — people who believe in contributing to the continuing mission — deserve to be seen and recognized.

Here are a few options to consider to help those who are staying know they matter:

1. Conduct ‘stay’ interviews.

Everyone does hiring interviews, and many organizations do exit interviews. What about the time in between?

Listening to people’s experience, asking about what’s working for them and what could be better, and then taking action can be a win-win-win outcome for you, your employees, and your company.

To try this, set up an hour with each of your team members and ask them questions like:

  • What about your job makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning?
  • What have you felt good about accomplishing in your job this year?
  • How do you like to be recognized? How does that compare to what you’re getting now?
  • What kind of feedback is helping you in your role? What feedback would be more helpful?
  • What frustrations keep you up at night or show up in your mind while you’re driving to work? What could reduce or eliminate those?
  • If you could wave a wand and change your role, what would be different?
  • What have I not asked about that could make a difference to you and the company going forward?

If you have created an existing foundation of trust, this intentional time can reveal opportunities for how you can show up as a leader and adjust the environment and people’s roles so everyone has a better chance of succeeding together.

2. Invite everyone’s crayon into the picture.

One of the best ways to show you care about people is to enable them to influence the outcomes and direction of their work. Giving people a sense of control is especially important when people feel like they don’t have control in other parts of their lives. (Hello, COVID-19 pandemic!)

One of the best ways to increase people’s sense of control and simultaneously help the business is to ask your team, “What should we stop doing?” You might be surprised how much waste and frustration a short conversation can target for elimination.

Other questions to ask include: “What do you want to see that we don’t have now? What do you want to preserve that we don’t want to lose?”

As a leader, it’s up to you to make sure the organization has a shared vision and strategy. Great leaders don’t create the vision on their own — they listen to others and incorporate their ideas so everyone can own it together.

After all, the people closest to the customers usually have really valuable insights. By really listening and understanding what could be better, it’s like you’re helping them get their crayon into your shared picture of the future.

Not only are you likely to get better results, everyone will know they’ve made a difference to the company and that they matter.

3. Actively let people know you appreciate them.

Your team is likely a mix of different personalities and preferences. You may wonder how to let them know they matter in a way that works for each of them. Working remotely makes this even harder.

An old-fashioned thank you can go a long way. Schedule face-to-face meetings and genuinely thank each person for their contributions. Share specific examples and connect the dots between their actions and the positive result on you and on the company’s mission.

If you want to go further, small treats or care packages can be a way to show your appreciation. A box in the mail with a thoughtful message and gift is a powerful way to make anyone feel special.

Expert hint: Appreciation is more effective when done more than once a year. This could look like a heartfelt thanks with eye contact during a monthly one-on-one, sharing kudos in a weekly team meeting, or randomly leaving a sticky note or a text with an appreciation.