Watching High Performance
High performance teams display their success on a regular basis. When you are part of such a team you become part of its environment. You are recognized and engaged. You feel the sense of teamwork. You are noticed and your presence is welcomed. Encouragement is everywhere. Such teams have an abundance of positive energy. The good feelings spread in form of compliments, recognized achievements and thank-you messages – usually delivered with big smiles.
Cause or Affect?
Is appreciation a cause or an effect of high performance? Can it or should it be rationed and earned? When is the right time to give it? Appreciation is not always positive recognition. Sometimes a great suggestion for how to handle a situation – when delivered carefully – can have a positive impact. Appreciation does not have to wait until the end of a long job. It can be given along the way as progress is made. The belief and confidence that someone is capable of learning how to do more is also a valuable form of appreciation. Great leaders and managers seem to be able to see things before they happen. Their confidence and perhaps their ability to appreciate future performance may be one of the keys for their successful teams.
Research Proves It
Research supports this view. ‘Feeling genuinely appreciated lifts people up. At the most basic level, it makes us feel safe, which is what frees us to do our best work. It’s also energizing. When our value feels at risk, as it so often does, that worry becomes preoccupying, which drains and diverts our energy from creating value.’ Why Appreciation Matters So Much, Harvard Business Review, Tony Schwartz, Jan 23, 2012
Early and Often
There are so many ways to show appreciation. Initiate appreciation using specific observations and follow-up. Get to know someone so you can make it even more genuine and impactful. Before you know it, you may become an appreciation expert. After all you know best how you like to be appreciated, and while we are all different, it can be fun to learn what makes others smile and feel respected.
The big awards at the end of a project are always fun and make for great pictures. They can even be the starting point for a new employee on his first day. If you see someone that reminds you of a top performer, it makes for an easy introduction to talk about his or her history and path to successful work. We know high performance is not typically achieved on day one working alone. Team members are added and experience is gained. There can be a lot of opportunities for appreciation along the way.
Have an appreciative day!