Everyone deserves praise for a job well done, and that goes beyond your direct reports. Even folks at the top can use a few words of encouragement. “Thank the Boss; why would anyone do that?” I’m with you. Many of my early leaders pummeled within me the logic that you NEVER thank anyone for doing their job. “People are rewarded with a paycheck; get back to work!” Makes sense; you hire people to do something so why shower them with praise for, essentially, breathing? Ah, but here’s the rub. We have this pesky condition called ‘Humanity’ and as such, motivating people via feedback and reward are critical to your growth, and theirs (even your Bosses).
Just because your manager, supervisor, VP or CEO is a leader it does not make them immune from being human. I recall looking up to leaders believing they had 100% of their act together. I’d place them on a pedestal honoring their godlike status. What could a plebeian such as myself say that would make any difference? Turns out, a lot. My time as a startup mentor taught me people struggle all throughout their lives with becoming comfortable in their leadership role. They are unsure, and as vulnerable as the rest of us; however, they made a decision to curb those thoughts and accept the ups and downs associated with leadership. That in and of itself is courageous, but what really sets great leaders apart from good ones is how they manage their people.
World class leaders break their back to make a culture that’s conducive to the various personalities comprising their organization. They understand that in order to meet the goals and objectives they’ve established, they require talented and motivated individuals. To attract those workers, leaders toil over an environment representative of their leadership style. They incorporate work/life balance, professional development opportunities, and a relationship-based atmosphere capturing the essence of comradery and inclusiveness. That’s a pretty tall order considering each and every person in their organization has different wants and needs!
While the perks of the job are the bells and whistles keeping employees engaged, not everything is balanced on the bottom-line. Your staff is an ongoing investment, and the ROI can seem like an eternity to avail itself. However, great leaders shoulder this burden with a smile and confidence as they know the more they position their people for greatness, the better result for everyone.
As admirable as these goals are, many leaders often go unappreciated by their staff. Similar to my opening logic, employees may think, “Heck, it’s their job to make the workplace productive; why thank them for doing what they’re supposed to do.” The answer is the same as why leaders should celebrate their staff – we’re all human after all.
If you work for a great leader, share your appreciation for their hard work. Let them know how their efforts have impacted your life and what it means to you personally. We all like to hear we’re doing good, especially from those we are working hard to serve.