Q: ‘What statement appears again and again in the top 3 responses for employee dissatisfaction?’
A: ‘My contribution is not valued/recognised.’
We see this statement, or a version of it (‘I do not feel valued.’ ‘My input is overlooked.’) again and again in surveys of organisation (dis)satisfaction, culture climate surveys and employee engagement questionnaires.
Q: ‘What can we do to reverse this trend?’
A: ‘Acknowledge Acknowledge Acknowledge.’
So often we forget to acknowledge others. Or do we? Do we forget or do we hold back because we don’t know how? I suspect the fact that we don’t know how plays a big part in our lack of recognising and valuing others.
Here is a simple formula on how to acknowledge. Place a BET. Yes, you read that right. Place a BET.
B = behaviour E = evidence T = thank you
- Firstly, choose the word to describe the behaviour you want to acknowledge. ie: authenticity awareness creativity courage curiosity diligence discretion emotional intelligence empathy enthusiasm equanimity fairness flexibility forgiveness gratitude honesty hope humanity humility ingenuity lightness loyalty neutrality perseverance perspective punctuality resilience risk sense of humour/fun sensitivity thoughtfulness willingness wisdom *
- Secondly, share exactly what the person has done. Let them know what they did, so they can repeat it, and what it led to… the evidence.
- Lastly, simply say ‘Thank you.’
Here are a few examples to get you into the swing of it:
- ‘Tony, your willingness to share information with the team enables us all to learn. Thank you.’
- ‘Kaye, your perseverance in pulling together this workshop has set us all up for success. Thank you.’
- ‘See Luan, your thoughtfulness in communicating how the team dynamics are playing out sure helps me with succession planning. Thank you.’
- ‘Carol, your courage in giving the presentation to the CEO looks like causing a breakthrough in the budget allocations. Thank you.’
- ‘Bhai, your compassion for your fellow workers creates strong rapport. Thank you.’
Remember that once you place a BET, be sure to let it land. That is, you let the recipient of the BET absorb it. Therefore, you need to place your BET then practice SILENCE. Zip that lip! Shut up. Be quiet.
Acknowledging is just one of the many coaching skills we address in our “Leader / Manager as Coach” coaching skills two-day workshop for mangers, leaders and executives.
* If you would like a PDF copy of the behaviours listed to use as a Cheat Sheet, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you one.
This is an update of an article posted on 12 October 2012.