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You’re probably feeling exhausted and wishing that the holiday break could come sooner. 2018 has been a frantic year with a lot of effort to continue to build success, but it hasn’t been without its challenges. You haven’t been alone. There are teams at work and at home who have been part of the challenges and successes, and we can probably guess that they are also just hanging in until the end of December.
For some it will be the end of the business year but for all, an end to a challenging and fast paced 2018. Exhaustion levels are high, tolerance levels low, increased urgency to “just get it done” with requests that you hadn’t expected coming out of thin air. You feel like you could put the holiday break back two weeks and still not get it done.
You’re not alone if you’re feeling this way and if you are overwhelmed, your teams at work and at home are going through the same experience. There will be those around who have supported you this year, gone the extra mile, bit their tongue when they wanted to speak out, worked that extra bit harder, did those early morning starts and stayed back and pushed through when they were exhausted. This is what makes a great team. When the chips are down, they hang in there for a purpose greater than themselves.
Many leaders acknowledge the team in the usual easy to organise ways; team dinners, drinks, movie vouchers – the problem is that while being easy, and you don’t have to think too hard, it doesn’t cut it to acknowledge “above and beyond effort”. These rewards and acknowledgements lack the personal touch and fail the test of being meaningful, customised or unexpected. They are unlikely to hit the emotional sweet spot with those who matter most and as a result won’t gain the engagement which you’ll need to be successful in 2019. Blunt feedback from one leaders’ team we recently spoke with said “the thanks was so poor that it would have been better not to thanked at all”.
Last year around this time, we worked with the leader of a high performing team. She wanted to know;
- what drove her team
- what did they value
- how could she best reward and recognise them that created value for them
- what really engaged the team?
- what wasn’t important to them even though she may have valued it.
We worked to establish the values profile of her team, identifying; what leadership culture they thrived in, how best to reward and recognise the team, the key actions of engagement and what circumstances “switched the team off”. Building a plan around these insights saw this leader and her team having their most successful year ever across results, culture and engagement.
We can learn from the her success and if you’re looking to thank your team and engage them for 2019, the strategies you need to get right are;
- Understanding what truly motivates key individuals.
- Being clear on how to reward and acknowledge them in line with what they value.
- Thanking your teams in a meaningful, customised and unexpected way.
- Being clear and specific about what you are grateful for.
- How can you validate, recognise and “make sense” of their effort and results for them.
Being able to authentically thank others in a personalised and humble way while creating a strong sense of engagement is easy when you know how.
What are the ways you have successfully thanked your team for a great year and engaged them for the future?
You may like to download the free sample values report here which we use. It provides a specific, proven and accurate method to understand what drives key individuals in your team.