By Michael Gunther

The other day, I was having a conversation with one of my new employees, Kevin about his work load and the importance of praising others. He stated that he was recently listening to a Dave Ramsey podcast and remembered Ramsey saying that the last time most people received applause was at their high school graduation. This concept helped me recall the Gallup research on the importance of acknowledging employees every seven days for doing a job well done. The reality is that most people feel underappreciated.

Why is there a lack of acknowledgment in the workplace? Many times I have to slow down and remind myself to appreciate my team and praise the great work that they do. It is much easier to point out the mistakes of others than to notice the small yet impactful achievements they produce. Business owners, like myself, overlook this idea because we are problem solvers who focus on solutions, so it makes sense that we naturally gravitate to the issue, fix it and then move on.

For employees who are working hard to achieve the company goals or making the company more successful, we have to remember they need positive feedback more often than we realize and most likely, more often than you are currently providing.

I wondered if this lack of acknowledgement stems from the fact that the leaders and/or business owners are not receiving any positive feedback in their own lives. Owners are often hard on themselves as they tend to be driven, have high expectations, and are continuously trying to improve their skills. In addition, the term ‘it is lonely at the top’ is often referring to the lack of support or praise a leader receives. Being a leader or a business owner doesn’t make us any less human. Therefore, we need acknowledgement and feedback just as much as our team does.

Imagine a work place where both the leaders and employees are not only focused on moving their business forward but encouraged to give an ‘applause’ to one another after working hard on a project, staying at the office later than expected or going above and beyond to care for a customer. Wouldn’t this be a better, more productive work environment? Wouldn’t employees be much more excited to contribute, and feel more engaged in the workplace? I would like to think so. 

Bottom Line

If you are a leader, acknowledge individuals on your team for a job well done, catch them doing something right. If you are an employee, praise your manager or business owner for the role they play in helping the organization be successful. By the way, thanks Kevin for the inspiration on this topic.
 

This is another article in a series on Michael’s entrepreneurial story and how being raised in a large family and his belief in creating a growth company with a work-to-live mentality has influenced his career. Michael Gunther is Founder and President of Collaboration LLC, a team of highly skilled business professionals who are dedicated to assisting proactive business owners to build profitable, sustainable businesses through results-oriented education and consulting services. 

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