This time of year, it’s not uncommon for leaders to be focused on setting goals and objectives and creating action plans to get results that create their organization’s competitive advantage. Budgets have been approved, capital expenditures are in process, employee handbooks, policies and procedures have been or will be updated soon and communication plans are in place. All the necessary components have been addressed to ensure success – or have they?

Intuitively it makes sense that employees who feel appreciated do more than what’s expected, but does your organization have an actual strategy to show your gratitude for their efforts? I’m not talking about a formal reward and recognition program – those are important, but are only ½ the story. I’m talking about creating relationships with employees and demonstrating genuine appreciation.

Here’s three quick strategies that you can implement today and they won’t cost you a dime.

  1. Get out of your office and go talk to your employees – really talk to them. Develop those relationships and express your gratitude for their dedication, commitment and performance.
  2. Be a positive influence – Are you constantly complaining? Do you see most things in the workplace as a problem rather than a challenge or opportunity? Viewing things as “problems” causes your energy to be funneled toward repairing something that’s gone wrong. Whereas viewing thing as challenges or opportunities sends no such message and focuses your attention on finding solutions and positive outcomes.
  3. Model and Encourage Empowerment through Personal Responsibility – When challenges arise, decide to be part of the solution, not part of the problem by reframing the issue so you take personal responsibility for it.
    1. Frame the issue for action. Ask “what” or “how” rather than “why”, “who” or “when”. Why, who and when are in the past and the past holds no solutions. What or how focuses your attention on the NOW.
    2. Take responsibility. Put your question in 1st person by using “I”, not “they”, “we”, “them” or “you”.
    3. Target action. “What can I do to increase my effectiveness?”

Employees who feel appreciated always do more than what’s expected. Harness the power of gratitude and personal accountability to engage your employees and create an Organizational Culture of empowerment and appreciation. Remember, the OC Equation™ is about aligning your values and philosophies with your actions for a competitive advantage.

– Cindy

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