Affirmations and Compliments are Not Efficient

Posted: Updated:
Robby Slaughter Robby Slaughter

Strictly speaking, it’s not a particularly efficient use of your time to tell people that they are doing a great job. Efficiency is a measure of how much work you put in versus how much you get out. Talking to your colleagues and giving them an attaboy provides no immediate efficiency gains. In fact, it may seem like it *wastes* precious minutes. But it in the long run, accurate compliments and supportive messages are actually one of the most effective ways to improve productivity, build rapport and strengthen business relationships. Those short moments are a small price to pay for one of the best investments you can make in your connection to others in the workplace.

How to Say It

If the worst thing you can do is never tell anyone you appreciate them, the second worst is telling them too often or in the wrong way. You must learn what each person prefers.

Some people, for example, like being told in person. Others appreciate a voicemail message or a hand-written card. Others thrive on being called out in front of a group, whereas this would terrify other people.

How do you find out how people like to be recognized? Ask. And you don’t have to be direct—you can get others to tell you what they like best by involving them in the process. Consider these approaches:

Have you ever worked at a company where there are awards? How do you feel about that?

Do you think anyone here is doing a great job? How should we let them know we appreciate it?

Do we do enough recognition here in general?

When to Say It

The best time to tell someone they are doing a great job is when they least expect it. That’s because you don’t want to create a mechanism in which people feel like they only get recognized when they are noticed.

The old management adage holds true: “catch people doing something right.”

Who Should Say It

Everyone should feel free to tell people they are doing well. But a positive message has the most effect when it comes from someone you respect. That’s why it’s almost always a good use of time to get someone else involved, especially if they are revered by others.

Don’t Forget, It’s Not Efficient

Giving out compliments takes time away from work. It’s a distraction. It prevents people from making progress because they are talking about progress that’s already been made.

But it’s really an investment. It helps us all to trust and respect each other more, which ultimately leads to more productivity.

Robby Slaughter is a principal with AccelaWork, a business improvement consulting firm in Indianapolis.

  • Perspectives

    • Filling the Gap Between Background Checks

      Because I run a background screening company, you might be surprised when I confess that there’s a huge inherent flaw in background screening. The flaw isn’t in our services or our people, both of which are remarkably thorough. The problem is that a background screening captures a moment in time. Whether you screen someone as part of the pre-employment process or check on their background a decade after you’ve hired them, even the most effective background screening...

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • (photo courtesy of Purdue University)

      Purdue Among 'Top Colleges That Pay Off'

      With the ever-increasing cost of higher education, college students and their parents want to ensure they’re getting a good value for that diploma. A new report from CNBC seems to indicate that students who choose Purdue University will indeed get a return on their investment, especially those who choose engineering. 

    • (Photo Courtesy: Roche Diagnostics)

      Roche VP on List of Influential Women Executives

      An executive with Roche Diagnostics has joined an exclusive list of prominent and influential women, including Oprah Winfrey and Serena Williams.  Cindy Carlisle, Vice President of Human Resources at Roche Indy, was named to Savoy Magazine’s 2019 Most Influential Women in Corporate America. 

    • Shelly Timmons

      IU Health Names New Leader of Neurosurgery

      The Indiana University School of Medicine and IU Health Physicians have named Shelly Timmons to lead the department of neurosurgery. She previously served at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center as vice chair for administration in the department of neurosurgery and director of neurotrauma.  

    • New Mixed-Use Development Planned for Fishers

      A new mixed-use development is coming to Fishers. Thompson Thrift Retail Group has announced the development of The Station, an office building that is part of an overall project that includes a 150-room hotel, a future retail pad along 116th Street and nearly 40 3-story townhomes.

    • Photo courtesy of White Lodging

      Ribbon Cutting Set for Fort Wayne's Newest Hotel

      Fort Wayne city officials hope a new 136-room hotel overlooking the city’s minor league ballpark will be a big hit for the economy. A ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for Thursday morning at the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton. Merrillville-based developer White Lodging Services Inc. built the hotel adjacent to Parkview Field and the Grand Wayne Convention Center.