Without question, the most valuable assets in any people-driven organisation and paradoxically often the most undervalued assets – are the individuals and teams that bring alive the organisation’s culture, values, goals, strategies and profits. To motivate individuals, it is vital that leaders invest the time to genuinely get to know the people within the business to determine: their unique values, personality style, likes, dislikes, motivational drivers, and what makes them happy, connected, dissatisfied, joyful, know they are appreciated and so on.
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget
that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
John F. Kennedy
One powerful tool that leaders can embrace to motivate individuals and teams to thrive in a culture of empowerment, appreciation and success is to show and express gratitude. That is, to openly acknowledge and communicate (verbally and in writing) all of the fabulous and beautiful things that people within the business do that the leader is grateful for. Basically, when the leader (or anyone else for that matter) expresses gratitude for all that the people have achieved (individually and collectively as a team), they are making a statement that they have chosen to appreciate others and people who feel appreciated and valued are: more motivated to achieve, highly productive, respectful, happy, work more harmoniously, have fewer sick days, are loyal to the business and stay longer than those who are not appreciated.
As a leader, how do I express gratitude?
It really is simple. Each day take a few moments to reflect on what people are doing within the business. Consciously acknowledge all of the things that are occurring in the teams and in the business that you appreciate and are grateful for. Take a few moments to run them through your mind and then physically go and take action—thank the relevant person/s for all of the gifts that have been bestowed upon you and the business during the day. Be sure to be specific and to use positive and empowering words when expressing your gratitude. For example:
Hi Bob, I want you to know how grateful I am for all that you contributed to the business today. Thank you for taking responsibility for the extra tasks in the morning meeting; for being open, honest and transparent with your colleague even though you didn’t see eye to eye and for taking the time to give your focused attention to Joan when she needed your last minute help. It is because you do these things that this business runs so well, and I appreciate your contributions.
Now, if you wish, you can also extend on the skill and be pre-emptively grateful for things that you will experience and observe during the day. To do this, first thing in the morning before you begin your work day, intend the different ways you will put time and energy into getting to know and acknowledging the great things the people within your business do.
When you set your daily intentions, consider asking yourself powerful questions that will increase the likelihood of your intention to observe the best in people, being met with success. Below are a few examples of intention setting questions that you may find useful when setting up your days to see the best in your people:
Based on asking yourself these questions, you will have conversations and take actions that will lead to you achieving what you intend. The beautiful result will be a highly motivated team of individuals who know they are respected, valued and appreciated. The positive returns you will reap will be endless.
So, how will you choose to acknowledge the people in your business today, which will increase their motivation?