Appreciating Your Team

It’s been said that on a plane trip, President George Bush senior personally wrote 40 notes of appreciation to various members of his staff. When his aides compared their notes, they discovered that every one of them was different. You can imagine how much each person appreciated his or her note. And most of them probably still have them. Personal expressions of appreciation can be great motivators. Recognizing your team members for their contributions is an important part of leadership. When people are properly recognized, they are likely to continue engaging in business with you. The ideal workplace is one where people are happy, productive, and proud of their accomplishments. Acknowledgment and rewards go a long way toward making a happy workplace.

Make acknowledgment an everyday activity, and be sure to be authentic – people can tell when you are not being authentic. Great leaders notice what their team members do, not only the accomplishments but also the effort. Imagine how you would feel if someone not only noticed the completion of your project, but also commended you on how you mastered the difficult aspects or how creative you were. Someone noticed! Someone cared enough to say something! It feels good to be noticed or to know that someone cares. Financial and non-financial rewards provide incentives to team members. Whatever kind of rewards you choose to give be sure they will be valued by the recipients. Imagine how the legal secretary felt every Christmas when his boss gave him several bottles of expensive wine even though the secretary had often told the lawyer that he was a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. The reward really needs to match the values of the recipient in order to be truly appreciated. Reward each employee according to what motivates them personally, such as giving:

  • More responsibility
  • Perks and privileges
  • Money or gift cards
  • More autonomy
  • More challenges
  • A fancier offices
  • Flexible hours’
  • Lunch out with you

The reward also needs to be a true reward, not something the recipient will experience as a punishment. For example, increased responsibility might feel like a punishment to someone who doesn’t want more responsibility. Or lunch out with you might feel uncomfortable to the recipient who is intimidated by you or is bored by you.Also, be sure that the recipient knows what exactly the reward is meant to encourage. If it is unclear, you may be encouraging behavior that you don’t want to encourage.

About the author:
Ed Abel has invested more than three decades learning how to build a successful, thriving business. Determined to find a way to educate and advise others in the construction and sustainability of a vital business, he founded ABEL Business Institute. Over the course of this process, he developed The SkillPreneur Business System, a systematic approach to the construction, maintenance, and growth of a business's--an approach that has become the philosophy and methodology of ABEL Business Institute.
My website is at:


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