But how often do you make a point, find a reason, to acknowledge your employees for their contribution to your success?
I can remember some years ago when I was a Front Office Manager at a major hotel, being asked by another manager why I was thanking my employees for having done such a great job that day with what had been a very heavy check out, further complicated by a lot of early check-ins due to an incoming convention.
When I told him that they had done a great job managing the demands of the shift, while at the same time delivering consistently exceptional guest service, and, had kept things on line for the afternoon shift as well, he said; “that’s their job.”
It’s ironic that I remember that conversation to this day, perhaps it’s because I simply couldn’t understand his response then, or now.
I have always made a point of thanking my team, as a group when appropriate, and, as individuals for their individual contribution when appropriate, in whatever way made sense at the time.
Granted, encouragement, or recognition, or whatever you call it, must be honest and genuine or it will simply be seen as creative manipulation with an underlying objection to achieve something – increased guest service numbers, increased revenue, whatever. Regardless, if that is your objective, your employees will see through it, and you. If you have an objective, any objective, in recognizing your team, then your recognition or encouragement is not genuine.
I think sometimes people lose sight of where they came from, the struggles that they endured to reach their positions, and, those special moments where someone inspired them from a little encouraging statement.
The other thing that you need to remember is that there is something that you can find to acknowledge every single person that you know. Everyone is good at something, or has made a difference or a contribution, but in order to see it you have to be committed to seeing everyone as individuals and not try to fit them into your perspective of what they should be like, and then acknowledge them for their contribution. A little encouragement goes a long way.
Kids are a great example. If you ever want to see how big an impact you can have by providing a little encouragement, think about when you have told a child that they have done something well. Their face lights up. You can immediately see how proud they are, and then they immediately set out to do more of what you just recognized them for.
We may learn (unfortunately) how to suppress that outward appearance of delight and pride, but the impact is the same – I promise you. People want to do a good job and they want to know that what they do matters, that someone cares, is noticing the effort that they are making.
Do that, without an alternative agenda or objective, and I promise you your revenues will increase and so will your guest service statistics and your levels of employee engagement.
A little encouragement really does go a long way, so be generous with your praise.
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