Being involved with several volunteer organizations, I’m always intrigued to observe how things get done – assuming they do! Motivating a group of people who aren’t getting paid to take time out of their busy lives to accomplish a task is no easy trick.
The management style of the organization president or committee chair seems to be key. Some nag, usually without much effect. Others do most of the work themselves, or delegate to a couple people they can rely on. But every now and then, everyone participates enthusiastically and things run like clockwork.
When that happens, I look for the reasons why things work so well. Different managers have different styles, but the best ones share one trait: they express their gratitude often.
Appreciation and the Bottom Line. A recent survey by The Conference Board showed that a mere 14% of workers report being “very satisfied” with their job. That leaves an awful lot of people with a lot of room for improvement. Study after study shows that the most important factor in job satisfaction is not salary or benefits, but acknowledgment – a feeling of being appreciated.
Showing appreciation costs little or nothing, but can add a great deal to your bottom line. The employee whose work is acknowledged is far more likely to encourage customers to increase their order.The fulfillment manager who feels valued will bend over backwards to get rush orders out.The catalog designer who knows how much they’re appreciated will put in the overtime needed to meet a tight deadline. A little thanks can go a long way.
Make Gratitude a Habit. The next time someone does their job well, or helps you do yours better, acknowledge them. Do it publicly, if possible, and be specific.
Saying thank you can be surprisingly difficult for some people. If that includes you, find other ways to show your appreciation. Send a handwritten note or take someone to lunch, if that’s more comfortable.
The next time you start to complain – about an employee, a co-worker, a boss, or the economy – stop yourself. Complaining never changed anything, but gratitude does.Make gratitude a habit. You attract more of whatever you focus on, so stop complaining and focus on the positive. An attitude of gratitude reaps its own rewards.