Thanks! There’s a lot of power in that little word. It can mean the difference between engaged employees and a workforce that does only what it needs to do to get by. In their book The Power of Thanks: How Social Recognition Empowers Employees and Creates a Best Place to Work, Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine put it this way: “When people are thanked for a job well done, they feel a sense of purpose. They love their work. They are inspired to do even better. They have a tremendous sense of loyalty to their employer. And every day, they come to work looking for new ways to do more to help the company surpass its goals.”
For internal communications professionals seeking ways to further engage employees, this means we need to devise strategies and tactics to help organizations demonstrate appreciation for those employees who live the company vision day in and day out and who invest so much of their lives in the success of the organization.
It also means we need to take the time to thank our own internal communication colleagues and to celebrate our own team’s successes. Internal communication teams are often so overwhelmed that we start planning the next big project before we even complete the current task. We don’t take the time to reflect on our achievements or to celebrate our successes. We endure this way of working for a long time but it eventually breeds discontent and stifles our creativity. It’s not a sustainable way for a team to work.
Celebrate Team Success
High-functioning teams take the time to thank their members and celebrate their successes. Recognition doesn’t have to be extravagant, just genuine and heartfelt.
More than 20 years later, I still fondly remember a small recognition party for a cross-functional team I served on. We had just completed a major project and celebrate with a pizza party in a conference room. The team leader called us one at a time to the front of the room. She thanked us, acknowledged our specific roles, added some appropriate humor with a gag gift, and then slipped us a gift card. The amount of the gift cards varied depending on our individual contributions. I don’t remember the amount of my gift card, but I do remember how the team leader presented me with a box of decaf coffee and told the story of me drinking an entire pot of coffee so I could pull an all-nighter and keep the project on schedule. The fact that she recognized my efforts meant the world to me.
Take a moment to express gratitude to your colleagues, outside vendors, and others that support your team and allow it to be successful. A little thanks can make a big difference.
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