I Don't Need It, But It's Nice...Affirmations in the Work Place
Reflections this week come from a conversation I have had with several community members over the past two weeks - and from a strategy I recently used - Becoming Royalty (thank you Patrick Hammer) - in my keynote presentation to the Arizona Presenters Alliance (awesome group by the way).
I always hear folks say, “I don’t need the compliment or the recognition, but it’s nice…”
I know all of you are very humble humans and I know you, and most the people you work with, do not do the work you do for the compliments. - But I am here to say, many of us appreciate compliments, affirmations, feel good statements, etc. - and appreciating some support and affirmation does not mean you are not a good servant leader or are egotistical- it means you are human!
Whether affirmation comes from leadership, a colleague, or an external partner, it feels good to be celebrated and recognized for our efforts, contributions, or attitude at work - and these affirmations can impact “the work” of the organization.
So, let’s talk about this idea of uplifting others…
The Importance of Uplifting Others
Celebrating and recognizing others at work does more than just inspire people to continue - or begin - doing a great job, or work harder to achieve their next goal. Uplifting colleagues is actually a great way to create a sense of community and belonging in the workplace. But why is it so important to make sure people feel they belong at work and among co-workers? Shockingly, research shows that a sense of belonging can contribute to as much as a 75% decrease in sick days taken, a 50% reduction in turnover risk, and a 56% increase in job performance (Source: Deloitte).
The data speaks for itself…a sense of belonging increases satisfaction and outcomes across the board. When people feel appreciated, they’re more willing to do good work and feel good doing it.
How to Uplift Others
It might be easy to see why it’s so important to create a sense of community in the workplace, but it can be a bit harder to figure out how to go about doing so. Cultivating camaraderie isn’t out of reach! Here are a few things to think about or be reminded of as you go through your work day:
1. Ask. Ask. Ask.
One of the most commonly reported successful tactics is opening the door for genuine conversation about what makes employees feel valued. Whether done through a forum, email, or one-on-one meetings, asking employees how they’d like to be validated and appreciated can help you learn a lot about what motivates them. I even have this as one of my Team Talk question cards if you need a cool strategy to have work conversations with those you lead.
2. Group Celebrations & Recognition
Taking time out of a workday to recognize and celebrate a team’s big win or ongoing success is a great way to remind employees that their work matters, especially as a group. Teamwork isn’t always easy, but it should always feel rewarding!
3. Promoting Positivity
There’s something to be said about a positive person in your corner. It’s not always easy to bring our best and brightest attitude to the table, but by setting a positive example about the power of optimism in the workplace, you can inspire others to remain positive, too. This looks a lot like spreading kindness throughout workplace communications, giving shout outs, or looking on the bright side during difficult meetings.
Experience The Impact of an Uplifting Environment
Now that you’ve seen the data on what a sense of community can do for your organization, and gathered insights on how to make tangible change within your own teams, it’s important to leverage this knowledge to celebrate and uplift others. An added, unexpected bonus of doing so is that you will also feel uplifted. It feels good to make others feel good, and this is especially true at work.