7 Simple Ways to Say ‘Thank You’ to Your Team by Lee Colan

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Research by former Gallup chairman the late Donald Clifton revealed that work groups with at least a 3-to-1 ratio of positive to negative interactions were significantly more productive than those having less than a 3-to-1 ratio. In other words, more productive teams had at least three positive interactions for every one negative interaction. By the way, the same study showed the bar was set even higher for more successful marriages–the key ratio was 5 to 1. Showing your appreciation is certainly a positive interaction and is a simple way to boost your ratio.

Consider tracking your ratio for a week to gauge how well you are appreciating your team. Look for opportunities to acknowledge your team’s results and positive progress. This is basic psychology–reinforce those behaviors that you want to see more frequently. Catch them doing something right, and do it often. If you look for ways team members are doing something right, opportunities to reinforce the team will be plentiful. The key is to be sincere and specific. In other words, don’t fall into the trap of blurting out the robotic “Good job.” Take the time to thoughtfully explain why you appreciated the specific action taken by a team member.

For example, you might say, “Kayla, I really appreciate the way you quickly resolved that customer issue without adding more time or cost to our delivery schedule. That makes a big difference for the company.” Demonstrating appreciation for your team members and their efforts can put them on the fast track to inspired performance.

There should be plenty of opportunities, since a Harris poll found that 65 percent of the workers reported receiving no recognition for good work in the past year! That’s a pretty low bar. So don’t worry about recognizing your team too much. In fact, there are no documented studies of any team ever feeling overappreciated.

Here are seven simple ways to demonstrate your appreciation for your team:

1. Say “thank you”–an all-too-obvious, yet highly underused form of appreciation.
2. Go old school and write a card or note to a team member expressing why you appreciate him or her.
3. Allow your team to present their work to your boss. This is a great way to engage your team, and it also shows your boss what kind of leader you are.

Read the entire article here:  http://www.inc.com/lee-colan/7-simple-ways-to-appreciate-your-team-and-boost-performance.html

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