The Most Cost Effective Way To Engage Your People

by  Paul LaRue  |  Leadership Coaching
The Most Cost Effective Way To Engage Your People

Do you remember Bob Nelson’s series of books 1001 Ways?

The titles ran the gamut of:

Why were these books so popular, and why do they continue to have a place on leaders’ bookshelves still today? It’s because of the power of giving value to your people and acknowledging their efforts.

Many books have properly outlined the power of effective praise and recognition. From Nelson’s books to Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson’s New One Minute Manager and its predecessor to Michael Lee Stallard’s Connection Culture, the inherent need to create an approach and culture that validates your people is powerful and proven.

For all the note card, bell ringing, and public praise methods, each author agrees on the most simple and cost effective method for engaging their people.

The Simple Thank You

I noticed in my early career how much this meant to my team. I learned how at the end of their workday they left with a smile because of a simple thank you. How the long grueling days in the hospitality industry melted away when staff members knew their efforts were appreciated (“Thanks, Lisa, you killed it today.”). How the last interaction of the day became their last thought and made them look forward to coming in the next day, knowing that their contributions were noticed.

The most effective leaders I know work diligently to thank their people. The validation can come from end of day departures and acknowledging extra effort on the fly, to even just thanking them for doing their normal work, giving input, or being positive throughout the day. These leaders know the value of their people and their basic need of feeling important, the feeling that their top three needs on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (belonging, esteem, and self-actualization) are being met.

Take every opportunity to find reason to thank as often as you can. That presentation didn’t go quite well? Thank them for the time and effort they put in anyway. The account dropped out to do business with a competitor? “You did a great job meeting their needs Marcie!” The 2nd shift comes in when your first shift leaves; thank them for working strong during the evening hours. Simple and genuine acknowledgement yields committed people and sustained performance.

Thanking your people for their everyday efforts is a simple and easy way to make a powerful lasting impression in your organization. Make every connection a reason to find and give thanks to your people.

What was the most powerful recognition you ever received?
Photo Credit: Morguefile

About The Author

Articles By paul-larue
Paul LaRue is the creator of The UPwards Leader and author of “Leadership LIFT: Take Your Leadership to New Heights”. Paul draws off of his years in senior leadership to pursue his passion – to enable leaders to increase their positive influence in their world.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

Lisa Lavergne  |  23 Nov 2015  |  Reply

Thanks Paul. Thank you’s are huge! I work for a non-profit and we have many volunteers. I make it a point to always say thank you- every time they come in, especially for the ones that have been faithful volunteers for years. The one point I would add is to make sure the thanks is sincere, and does not come across as the ‘token’ thank you. Stop and look them in the eye if possible and then give them the thanks. Or sometimes a short note.
Thanks for the reminders today.

Paul LaRue  |  23 Nov 2015  |  Reply

Thank you Lisa! It can’t be said enough that all thanks must be sincere, otherwise people see through it and it accomplishes nothing at all. “Simple and genuine acknowledgement” should rule over our hearts in serving others.

Have a tremendous week!!

Nikki Sells  |  23 Nov 2015  |  Reply

Such a needed blog, Paul. I truly believe that saying “thank you” and showing gratitude starts early on in a person’s life. Thanks for sharing.

Paul LaRue  |  23 Nov 2015  |  Reply

Most welcome Nikki! It’s a cultivated spirit, that’s for sure. Glad you enjoyed it, thank you!

Mary C. Schaefer  |  23 Nov 2015  |  Reply

Great post, Paul. I love this: “Make every connection a reason to find and give thanks to your people.”

And this is another great new photo also.

Paul LaRue  |  23 Nov 2015  |  Reply

Thanks Mary, you always make my day!

Rey Carr  |  23 Nov 2015  |  Reply

Indeed, “thank you” is a powerful yet simple way to make a lasting impression. But you know what’s as interesting? Is what does the receiver of the “thank you” say after you say thank you. Often you hear a response of “no problem,” or if you’re in Australia, “no worries.” But a better response might be for the receiver of the thank you to say, “I know you’d do the same for me.” This is a way of reinforcing or cementing the collaborative relationship at work.

Paul LaRue  |  23 Nov 2015  |  Reply

Rey, love the thought! I think that concept is a separate post in itself. You bring up a smart point in fostering a collaborative spirit. A poor attitude in reviewing can undermine an earnest acknowledgement of praise – quite true.

Great contribution Rey, thank you so much!

P G SUBRAMANIAN  |  25 Nov 2015  |  Reply

Great post! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. The power of “Thank you ‘ needs to be experienced to feel it. Still many a times we do not deem it necessary to extend this small courtesy. The most powerful recognition I received was recently when my efforts at stabilizing the organisation was recognized at the top Management Committee level. One of the members questioned the need to pay fee to me which he felt was on the higher side. To my surprise others sprang to me defense acknowledging the role I played saving in the bargain additional money that would have been paid if a regular CFO was employed.

Robert McNeil  |  26 Nov 2015  |  Reply

Thank you / gratitude is often the most intimate feeling to express. Your article would resonate better with me if you dropped the reference to “your people.” To me, “your people” It sets up a power dynamic that works against reciprocation. And it’s unnecessary.

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