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We are all different. But I'd like some different perspectives into what makes us all feel appreciated.
I personally prefer constructive and collaborative feedback. I enjoy private "thank yous" but enjoy my accomplishments recognized publicly as well (if for nothing else than to help people understand what I do).
So, lets hear about you!
Hmm, tricky question. In business, I've got to say I love recognition. It makes me feel appreciated and valued - especially in small business where you lack the interactions of a busy office with lots of co-workers.
But I also like getting constructive feedback because it helps us see what we're doing well and where there could be room for improvement.
I like continued feedback on a job well done. I like knowing regularly that I'm meeting expectations.
I think whenever I have gone above and beyond a public acknowledgement was valued. As little as a CC'd email can mean so much.
I can think of one situation where my hard work was recognised as the hard work of my manager. It's the mark of a good leader where your team is exceeding expectations and their achievements are celebrated. Recognising your employees is a reflection of your own achievement as a leader and mentor. Taking the credit will never make your employees want to ever exceed expectations again.
I see that your a regular contributor to the site, I would like to acknowledge that. Without regular contributors like you the whole concept kinda doesnt work as well!
Is that reinforcing for you?
If it is the likelihood of you increasing the behaviour that is being reinforced is higher.
If it's not then the likelihood is that the behaviour will decrease.
Fairly simplistic answers to an area of Science as complex as us, individuals and humans!
My answer is certainly not meant to be blase or condescending in anyway, the Science of Human Behaviour is a fascinating subject.
Your question is actually the best answer, you need to ask the individual cos it's different strokes for different folks.
The father of Human Behaviour, BK Skinner, will tell you that the biggest variables around the concept of human behaviour are actually the environment and timing.
Telling the wife/girlfriend/partner/mistress that she looks hot in that dress...the next morning...just aint as reinforcing as when she steps into the doorway! Guaranteed.
That's about the effectiveness of timing on behaviour. The more immediate the reinforcement, the greater influence on behaviour.
Telling the wife/girlfriend/partner/mistress that she looks hot in that dress....in front of her work colleagues....as opposed to the privacy of your own home...is going to elicit a completely different response. Guaranteed. That's about the effectiveness of the environment on behaviour. The environment alone can influence or change behaviour.
I enjoyed responding to this, I feel reinforced and rewarded.
This is something every workplace must do, unfortunately in our experience most of them do it poorly!!
The most important point I will make it that feedback must be a continuous conversation, whether it is for positive or negative feedback. Too often people reserve giving feedback for annual or 6 monthly performance reviews. Why is this an issue? Because you top employees who are doing a good job will feel disengaged. You know they are doing great work but they don’t, so in many instances these people will end up leaving your workplace as they feel undervalued. This is not good for you! Alternatively bad performance does not get rectified in a timely manner. The longer bad performance goes on, the harder it is to rectify. Often one of the biggest issues is that people managers lack the skills or confidence to have the hard conversations.
In regards to recognition, yes things like recognition and presentation of awards and certificates in front of the team can be valued by employees. However our experience shows that often the little things have the biggest impact. Our work has show that things like a team lunch to celebrate a project milestone can go a long way to rewarding a job well done. Or for a smaller thankyou instead of just saying job well done, take them for a coffee and explain what it was you valued about their contribution. Trust me, as managers we see these things as small, but team members really value them.