Thanksgiving is obviously the perfect time to say thank you to those who have made a positive impact in our lives in some way. Perhaps what is not so obvious is the opportunity to thank people for the difference they will make. Acknowledging people for past accomplishments lets people know they have provided value, but acknowledging people for the value that you anticipate they will bring allows people to see your vision for them and step into that possibility.
Yes, Thanksgiving is a time to thank, but it’s the giving part that can create so many new possibilities. It’s not about giving things; it’s about giving people the opportunity to know they matter.
As a new employee, Nicholas was concerned about the upcoming holiday dinner. Having only been with the company for less than three weeks, he had heard stories about management acknowledging individuals for achievements throughout the year. Since he had not accomplished anything in his short history with the company, he was expecting to clap for others and did not give much thought to being on the receiving end of acknowledgment. When his boss took the microphone and began describing the future he saw for Nicholas who has already demonstrated strength of character, a giving nature and rigorous commitment to quality, Nicholas was shocked to hear about the future potential his boss described. The glimpse Nicholas got of his boss’ vision for him propelled Nicholas to give even more of himself to his new role. He knew he mattered and it gave him a sense of certainty that he made a good decision to work for a company that truly valued him and his contribution from day one.
He wanted to prove to his boss and to himself that he was worthy of the acknowledgment and the future with the company. Who could feel this way on your team if you took similar action?
How much time goes by before you thank people for what they are giving to your company? How much time goes by before others know what you see in them?
Be intentional about building praise into your new hire’s Onboarding process. Be intentional about on-going acknowledgment for existing employees who continue to provide value.
Don’t assume that thanking people once got the job done. It’s a bit like having one serving of turkey at your Thanksgiving dinner . . . it’s satisfying, but we all go for seconds because we want a little more than satisfaction.
Happy Thanksgiving. Thank you for reading my articles, but more importantly, thank you for the difference you will make to so many people as a result of putting into action some of the ideas presented in these articles.
Merit Gest is President and Founder of Merit-Based Development, a Denver based firm specializing in Onboarding top talent. For information about Merit’s virtual course designed to guide executives through the process of creating an effective Onboarding program, call or email Merit at 720-980-1286 or Merit@MeritGest.com