People appreciate appreciation. In fact, they crave it. People want to be acknowledged for who they are and what they do. And you as a leader will do well to express appreciation to those around you.
People need appreciation in certain times more than others. They will need you to be aware of what those situations are so that you can be prepared to meet that need.
Here are the five situations when your team will need appreciation.
1. When they feel unsure
When people come into a new situation, they will be unsure. You will do well to acknowledge that. Make sure that they know that you realize they are new to the situation.
Everyone knows what it’s like to have the first day jitters. It’s no fun when you have to be the new kid on the block. Not knowing the culture there can make it particularly awkward.
I remember the awkwardness of coming into a new position as a new employee and as a new boss. Neither feels particularly comfortable. It was a time that I felt I had to prove myself.
You will do well to help your team feel more relaxed about being new. Set their minds at ease so they feel comfortable being on board.
Let them know that you care about them. Tell them that you are glad that they are there. And you are happy they are part of the team. Your appreciation of them will go a long way.
Removing fear from the situation will help your team grow into their abilities and rise to their best.
2. When they feel ill equipped
When people on your team have been tasked with leading something new, they may feel awkward about moving into that new role. Be aware of the situation and express your appreciation to them.
Not everyone feels comfortable with starting something new. You will have to gauge the situation and make sure they are fully prepared to do what you have asked them to do.
I recall feeling awkward when I was tasked with doing a new venture. It was exciting to be asked to lead something new, but there was also the nagging doubt about whether I would be able to do what was asked of me.
Be sensitive that they may feel unprepared. Remind them that these assignments are growth opportunities. They will discover more about themselves as a result of being pushed past what they feel comfortable doing.
Training is crucial for these tasks, but so is reinforcing your support of them in this role. Help your team believe that you believe they have what it takes. So they can become who they can become.
3. When they feel stuck
When your team has been on a project for a while, they can get to the point where they get stuck. Although it’s not your job to do their job for them, you will want to give them support as they figure out how to get unstuck.
It’s awkward when they have been trying to accomplish something and it doesn’t work out like they thought it would. There is a point when they should pull back and reassess the situation. During that time, give them assurances that you are there for them.
I recall being stuck when I was unsure about the right course of action to get back on track. The times that I had a boss who was understanding of my learning curve helped me work better.
Being flexible with your team at those times will prove helpful. Understanding and responding to your team’s concerns in that moment will help them get unstuck.
Show your appreciation to them when they are stuck. Help them realize that you have not abandoned them. Knowing they have your support will do wonders for them and their performance in the midst of an awkward scenario.
4. When they feel beat down
Some members of your team may be doing work that involves a lot of effort with few successes. It’s important for you to be conscious of that.
At other times, there will be circumstances that will make your team feel beat down. They may try again and again at something and not succeed. At those times, they will feel discouraged.
I know what it feels like to get beat down by circumstances. And I know what it feels like to try something over and over and it just doesn’t work. Both situations are draining. And neither are much fun.
But you can speak life into their situation by expressing your appreciation. If they know that you are in their corner, they can look at the situation differently. Having your support can change their outlook.
Praising their efforts—even if they haven’t achieved great results yet—can spur them on to work harder to get the results you both want to achieve.
5. When they feel ignored
Perhaps the worst situation is when a team member feels ignored. They may not feel that they matter to the team as a result. And they can feel disconnected as well.
It can happen relatively easily. If you are focused on other responsibilities, you might not allocate enough time for them. As a result, they can feel left out.
I have worked before in a sea of cubicles where I felt like a number. It’s not a lot of fun when you feel the boss doesn’t give you the time you need.
I realize that you are busy in your role as a leader. I’m sure you don’t mean to leave anyone out. But it’s worth checking to see if everyone on your team has received the attention they need.
Giving them necessary feedback will help your team members know how to move forward. You express your appreciation to them by telling them how they can improve.
Showing appreciation to your team when they feel unsure, ill equipped, stuck, beat down, and ignored will help you develop a higher performing team.