Affirmation is one driver for most people. While it can have a dark side, truth is, we all like to be affirmed. We need to be affirmed.
One reason I know this to be true is because I felt so affirmed by my dad while I was growing up. In my book Measuring Success I discuss how he loved me, affirmed me, encouraged me, believed in me, and has always been my biggest fan. He has told me many times how proud he is of me. He is not afraid to show affection to me. I believe my sense of self-worth is greater and my confidence is naturally stronger because I have been affirmed by my dad. Dad created a healthy culture of affirmation in our home.
Leaders have to work to help their team FEEL valued if they want their team to ADD value.
One of the strongest cultural values we can instill is healthy affirmation for our team.
You get maximum value FROM your team when you add maximum value TO your team!
Here are 3 ways leaders create a culture that affirms and values their team.
How you TREAT people.
This sounds simple, but don’t skip it. You may argue that you treat people well by paying them well, increasing vacation time or giving them more autonomy. While those are noble, don’t underestimate the value it adds to your team when you over-communicate rather than blindside them, how you graciously handle them when they fail to meet a lofty goal, or by providing crystal clear job descriptions...and sticking to them. Treating people with value inspires and empowers people to add value.
How you TRAIN people.
Do you rush the onboarding process with new employees? Are team members only developed at a conference once a year? Could it be said that performance evaluations occur when things are “less busy” or you have time on your calendar? How you develop your team is how they feel affirmed. Development is not all about calling out things done wrong, it is adding value by equipping people to do right. Schedule training, slowly acclimate new leaders, and affirm by developing your team.
How you APPRECIATE people.
While seemingly the easiest to do, showing simple appreciation is so seldom done by leaders! Let me coach you for a minute: Here are 3 simple actions I want you to take today that will help you show “affirmation by appreciation.” Gather the birthdays, anniversaries and important dates in the lives of your team and their families. Put these on your calendar and set a reminder for the day before. Each time you get that reminder...RESPOND! Do something! Take action! Send a text, make a call, write a note, hand-deliver a gift card, buy coffee. The act doesn’t matter; the action does! Simple gestures of affirmation from the leader results in exponential feelings of affirmation for the team.