Culture is a conversation that gets generated by the things we talk about in the office and actions we take. Like a path that forms in the grass from constant use, as soon as people stop going down the path, the grass and weeds will start to regenerate. It is the job of every employee to keep this conversation alive!
Here are a few simple things you can do this week to encourage a culture of appreciation in your organization regardless of your role.
In your next one-on-one or Senior management team meeting, try the following:
- Ask people to share a story of how a member of someone else’s team really helped them out lately.
- Ask your leader to share about an employee in their team who flies below the radar but constantly does amazing work.
In the next week, swing by that employee’s office or give them a call and share what their manager shared about them to you in the last team meeting, and thank them for their work. It will make their day to know their leader is talking about them. If you make a habit of this at each meeting, leaders will come prepared to share and even better, they will also spend the week scanning for great moments to share.
Be A Welcomed Interruption in your organization:
- Hang a few posters around the office reminding people to take a minute to acknowledge each other. Put a sign on the front entrance reading “Do your people feel valued?”
- Forward this message to your senior leaders with “Something for you to try in your next meeting.”
- Buy a bunch of thank you cards and put them in people’s mailboxes with a note. “Who have you been meaning to thank?”
Get to know your people better:
- Pick the person on your team that you know the least and invite them for coffee. Be honest; “I read this idea in an email this week and thought of you, and realized we have not talked in a while. How have things been going? What are you most proud of? What can I do to better support you?”
- Remember recognition is not about having the right thing to say, it is about knowing your people and what matters to them. This week, learn something new about each one of your people.
- What are their hobbies?
- What do they do to relax?
- What is their favorite restaurant?
- What skills are they working on developing?
- What are they most proud of?
- Ask them what the most meaningful acknowledgment they ever received was.
Keep a mental or physical file of what matters to each of your people. Next time you want go beyond just a verbal acknowledgment, you will have some ideas of how to make it meaningful.
Individual Contributors & Everyone!
Even though people may not report to you, that does not mean they do not look up to you as an example. Your actions as an individual contributor are at the core of your organization’s culture. Here are a few things you can do to help build a culture of appreciation:
- Today, thank someone from another department. Need an idea – Thank IT for the 364 days a year your computer works!
- Take on acknowledging 5 people a day for the next week.
- If people recognize you, practice accepting the compliment by just saying “thank you.” Need more help on this, check out my earlier email on accepting compliments.
- If someone gets recognized, and others start gossiping saying they don’t deserve it… Ask them, “Well, what do you want to be acknowledged for?” It will mess with their head… keep asking until they answer!