This whole business of building your dream career is not for the faint of heart; we know this.
Delegate! The productivity hackers command. Automate! The digital marketing experts implore. Meditate before meetings! Suggest the self-care gurus. And yes, a healthy mix of all of the above will go far in helping to grow and expand one’s professional empire. The problem is that in the quest to outperform, overdeliver and yes maybe even overachieve, we often miss out on a powerful, potentially easier way.
What if I told you there was a nearly foolproof, feel-good tactic available to you? Right now. Something basically guaranteed to activate a serious mood-boost, along with a burst of motivation, creativity and enthusiasm for yourself and your team? A strategy that will help to drive demand for your products and services, build extreme team loyalty and attract your right people and opportunities your way, like a magnet.
So what is this powerful career cocktail?
Employees who do not feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to say they’ll quit in the next year, which seems likely as a Gallup poll conducted in 2016 found that employees often feel their best efforts are routinely ignored. In fact, the number one reason Americans leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated. And yet, the Aberdeen Group found that only 14% of organizations provide managers with the necessary tools for rewards and recognition.”
So how do we turn this around? Here are 3 ideas:
Seek out PR opportunities for your experts
The standard protocol is often to have the CEO act as the mouthpiece for a company, whether or not she is intimately involved in the subject matter at hand. Instead, make company PR a group effort. Encourage your team to seek out opportunities to write articles, contribute expert quotes, submit for career interviews, apply to speak on panels, heck, give a keynote speech. Share the spotlight with the experts who are helping you succeed and everyone wins. If you’re an employee, being opportunities like this to the table and argue your case.
Earmark budget (and-time) for awards and celebrations
Every cent matters, particularly in a startup environment. But take note of a World at Work study that found 46% of senior managers view recognition programs as an investment rather than an expense. From that perspective, consider putting money aside for external and internal recognition opportunities. Whether you apply for industry awards, incentivize an employee of the month program with a half day of paid-time-off, or host a quarterly peer-recognition love fest complete with seasonal snacks, ensure everyone knows these programs (and the core value of appreciation) are a company priority.
Write love letters
One of my career maxims is to ‘lead with generosity.’ This idea aligns well with one of my favorite quotes by the French philosopher Simone Weil, particularly apt in our multi-platform, multi-distraction world: “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” (It's also free.)
One of my favorite strategies to bust through my own burnout is to send out emails of appreciation. I send them to people I know and complete strangers, anyone whose work I am inspired by, anyone who has gone above and beyond for me in a meaningful way.
No matter where you are at in your career, you have every opportunity to build yourself up - and those around you - through a heartfelt note of appreciation.
By adopting formal-or even informal-recognition practices for yourself and your team, you’ll enjoy perks like an improvement in outside perception, an easier time attracting top talent, higher customer satisfaction, lower turnover, less frustration, a more highly engaged workforce and better business results overall.
Now that sounds like something worth celebrating.
Crosby Noricks is the founder and director of PR Couture, the sourcebook for fashion and lifestyle communicators. As part of the site’s own 10-year anniversary celebration, Crosby launched The Bespoke Communication Awards, a global online award program established to recognize excellence among agencies, in-house teams, individuals and brands. The BCAs include a free “Favorites Category” nomination form for 6 awards, including ‘Breakout Lifestyle Brand’ and ‘Favorite Industry News Source/Publication’ - submit your faves today!