- May 12, 2021
- Posted by: David Marshall
- Category: Management, Productivity
If you ever want to get extra work and effort out of someone, plus earn their loyalty and dedication, you should never do it through fear, intimidation, or even monetary reward. (Although that last one can be effective for a short while. And that’s as a bonus for their work, not their regular salary.) The best way to get more work and effort out of someone is to make them feel appreciated. Truly appreciated. Not just a quick “thanks” or jelly of the month club bonus gift at the holidays.
Why do they do it? Because they enjoy what they do, or at least, they love it a little more. If you love what you do, you can do an awful lot of it and not be fatigued. And if you’re appreciated, it helps you enjoy what you do a whole lot more than if you’re underappreciated.
Champion golfers or champion tennis players don’t do it because they have to, they do it because they love it. They have fans who love them, people who scream and clap and yell their name. That’s almost like an aphrodisiac. A lot of pro athletes will play their sport for the love of the game, but they also love the adoration of the crowds.
Your employee appreciation should be more than just a once-in-a-while handshake or Starbucks gift card. This should be an ongoing effort so that people know you always appreciate them. Make your employees feel like rock stars, and they’ll do their best for you.
How Do You Incorporate Appreciation into Your Management Style?
Showing your team that you appreciate them is a very personal thing. That really goes back to the debate of the difference between leadership and management. A leader will intuitively do it as part of their day-to-day work, a manager has to work hard at doing it. They may have to be reminded to do it or prompted by their advisors.
As an aside, the good manager who works hard at it, they’re still good leaders. But if they have to plan it out, and if it’s not an intuitive, reflective action, then they’re more manager than leader. (I would also hold out hope that that manager is going to become a good leader.)
If you ever get a chance, read one of Warren Buffet’s annual reports. He has a lot of companies in his portfolio and he knows the management of each one. And he talks about each one of them individually in his report. That’s a leader who incorporates appreciation into management style.
So what goes into “Management by Appreciation?”
First of all, you should publicly appreciate people. Call them out in meetings and praise them for their good work. If that’s not possible, send them a letter — handwritten if you can manage it — that sings their praises. And if you ever have to discipline someone, do it in private. Never let anyone else know you did it. Too many managers do the opposite.
Second, give them more responsibility. Nothing says, “I like the work you do” than to give someone more of it. I’m being a bit facetious, but only a little. Really, what you’re saying to the person is that “I like the work you do, and so I’m going to trust you with additional responsibilities.”
Third, adjust their compensation according to the additional responsibility they take and succeed at. If you just give someone more work, without any significant reward for it, it’s just more work, and they’ll quickly come to resent it. So make sure you put your money where your mouth is and pay them for the additional responsibilities.
Fourth, you can give them public recognition by promoting them. Even if it’s just a title bump to match the responsibility bump, it still shows that recognition of their great work and it tells the rest of your workforce that “This person is doing such a great job, we had to change their title to better reflect their efforts.”
And of course, I’ve always been a big believer in honoring people for their efforts with annual banquets, sales meetings, and special outings for our dealers and their wives.
On a personal level, I would always make a point of spending time with different individuals. It might not have been a lot of time, but it was time. Over time, I would get to know their families, ask them how their kids and spouses were doing, and develop something in common to talk about.
Now there are certain people who — according to the 80/20 rule — where it doesn’t matter what you do, they put in their time to do as little as possible to receive as much as possible. Even so, it’s that 20% that you want to cultivate. Those are the people who are going to give you that extra effort because of the extra effort you put into them.
I’ve been a manufacturing executive, as well as a sales and marketing professional, for a few decades. Now I help companies turn around their own business, including pivoting within their industry. If you would like more information, please visit my website and connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
Photo credit: Voltamax (Pixabay, Creative Commons 0)