Thanks, Team!

“Showing appreciation is not a matter of time and intention; rather, it's a matter of priority and action.”

Lee Colan, founder of the L Group and author of Leadership Matters, made this important observation in an article he wrote for about simple ways you can thank your team. It seems obvious that you would thank your team for a job well done. However, most employees indicate that they rarely receive recognition for their work.

It’s essential to show your team that you appreciate their efforts to move organizational goals and objectives forward. Colan offered some great suggestions for doing just that. Here are four that I especially like:

  1. Allow your team to present their work to your boss. This is a great way to engage your team, and it also shows your boss what kind of leader you are.
  2. Offer team members a choice of projects on which to work. When team members buy into a project, they will put their hearts into it.
  3. Put a sincere acknowledgment of a team member in your company or department newsletter. This takes only a few minutes of your time but creates long-term "trophy value" for the employee.
  4. Tell an employee's story of accomplishment at a staff meeting. Detailed stories are perceived as more interesting, meaningful, thoughtful, and memorable.

This list may bring to mind other ways that you can thank your team. I would agree with Colan’s assertion that it’s important to “find ways that are natural and comfortable for you to demonstrate your appreciation, since your authenticity is the key.”

In closing, Colan also debunked the notion that budget limitations prevent managers from thanking their teams. I would agree with him that “there are literally thousands of ways to demonstrate your appreciation at little or no cost.”

So put it on your calendar if you have to, but make the time to say, “Thanks, team!”