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Thank People for Doing Their Work

Really, Thank people for doing their work isn’t that what they are paid for?

Thank you for doing your work 

YES and YES.

I once led a 4 month team building & communication process for a manufacturing plant.

The operations manager, with boastful pride, pointed at one door and proclaimed, “People know when they walk in that door, sit in that seat, that their ass will be chewed out by the time they walk out that door.”

This guy was under the perception that the only time the boss talks to you is when you screw up. Then he wondered why so many people where screwing up.

When I spoke to the front-line people they stated “The only time we see the ops-manager is when he walks on the floor to yells at someone…it would be nice to be thanked sometimes.” AND “On the floor we cover for each other and the mistakes that get made are covered up, because we know the ass chewing we get when something goes wrong.”

Unknowingly this manager was acting in self-destructive ways.

Is this happening in your work?

There were people in that plant who worked hard every day and never were recognized, let alone thanked, for their hard work. And mistakes that the ops-manager and the staff could have fixed were being covered up, because the manager was seen as unapproachable, and that mistakes got you in trouble.

Managers you need to STOP your false-belief that you should not thank people for doing their work. It can go a long way, and showing your appreciation is what you must do, if people are too continue to do their best work. 

Plus making yourself available and letting everyone know your job is to ensure that everyone can do their best, everyday. Plus ensure that the work is done 100% on time, within budget and quality.

What to do

This is the same managerial-coaching assignment I gave to the operations manager above.

For the next two weeks when you arrive at work flip a coin.

  • Heads you choose 3 people and at different times throughout the day walk up to them and Thank Them in a specific way. For example; I noticed you were at your machine early and that you were inspecting the parts to make sure there were no defects, thank you.
  • Tails you do nothing different.
  • Every day be on the look out for opportunities where you might thank people for doing their work, write down 5 opportunities per/day.

When we meet again in 2 weeks, be prepared to share what and when you thanked people.

What do you think?

when is the last time someone thanked you for doing your work? when is the last time your manager thanked you for doing your work? try the exercise above and let us know what happens.

team building leadership innovation expert michael cardus

michael cardus is create-learning

image http://www.flickr.com/photos/lachlanhardy/2392316006/

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