In the corporate world, there are times when, as leaders, you want to recognize your team. You understand that people work for a salary but sometimes an additional recognition is desirable.
Ever since childhood, we as humans, appreciate it when we are singled out for praise, recognition or gratitude. This need does not go away in adult life, in fact it remains as strong and as necessary (now for our development, job-appreciation and self-worth) as it was when we were kids.
For these reasons, and many more, I am declaring that the “Group Thank You”, bunching everyone together in a single emailed note, is utterly worthless.
“Group Thank You” is, in fact, the greatest insult of all. Here is why:
Whether working as a team or a small group, each individual believes and hopes that their own unique contribution significantly added to the success of a project. When a leader simply can’t be bothered to define why any one member of the team did something worthy of additional recognition, they are declaring to everyone that actually nothing outstanding has taken place and they ‘weren’t watching anyway’!
When treated as a group each individual’s pride evaporates as it is simply not recognized.
“A big thank you to everyone who pulled together and really made yesterday the success that it was – thanks again you should all be proud” …
…is pretty much the same as saying…
“I actually don’t know who half of you are, or what any of you actually do, but here’s my contractually required statement”.
However, an email directed at one person recognizing a specific act or contribution pays huge dividends and, as an added bonus, creates long-lasting loyalty.
Now here’s a message that wins points for everyone concerned:
“Sarah, keeping the registration desk going under such trying conditions yesterday was very impressive and I truly appreciate everything you did under all of that pressure.”
Yes, it will take you, as a leader a little more time. It will also require you to actually observe and note what your people are doing and how they are adding to the success of your enterprise. But when you take the time to recognize people in a thoughtful manner, team morale and loyalty rise significantly and the payback for you increases exponentially.
From now on the ‘Group Thank You’ must be confined to the junk folder where it belongs.