No one has ever said, “Please stop encouraging me in my job.”
It’s always a great idea to encourage others in the workplace no matter what your level is in an organization. The ability to encourage others will serve you well throughout your career and can easily be a way for you to stand out against the crowd.
Here are five tips to strengthen how you encourage others at work.
1. Model the behavior/be happy yourself
You first have to demonstrate the attitude and behaviors that you want others to model before you move through any of the following steps. If you aren’t happy or come across as standoffish or always upset then your team will not be encouraged. Is this an area of struggle for you? You can hear more about it on Passing the Baton Leadership Podcast #13: Leaders don’t have bad days.
Showing happiness and joy is a cycle. The more you show and do, the more you will find around you.
2. Encourage friendships at work
I’ve always found that my teams were the strongest when they had relationships with each other outside of my influence. They would go hang out together after work and became a part of each other’s lives. I know that this topic makes some leaders (particularly those that have been around a while) uneasy. Several generations of leaders were brought up that you didn’t mix business with personal at all and they put up very hard lines between the two.
Our newer generations of leaders don’t operate the same way. They appreciate it when others have at least some knowledge of their personal lives. I’m not recommending that you get in the drama of everyone’s lives, but at least have an interest in people’s everyday lives outside of the workplace. What do they enjoy? What are their hobbies? What are they working on or towards? Any major life events coming up?
3. Help them understand the meaning and value of their work
Encourage others by helping the person see the value and impact of their work. The rise of internet retail has brought many new jobs in that sector, but many of those workers are discouraged and unhappy because they don’t see the value in shipping products from a warehouse alongside robots day in and day out.
Connect what they do to the bigger picture. Share stories of how their contribution impacted someone’s life. Take them to see the impact if possible. Being able to see the impact that you have on an organization, the country, and the world is very encouraging and rewarding.
4. Make time for your people
Just spending time with someone can be an encouragement as long as you are following tip #1. People know that you are busy and they appreciate you taking some time to spend with them. That could be working on a project together, going to lunch together, or just spending some time together between meetings or classes. Be sure not to skip on the small talk. It will help solidify tip #2 when you show that you care about someone’s personal life as well.
5. Show appreciation
When you see great behavior or a job well done, recognize it immediately. Recognizing others on a regular basis does not lessen the value of praise. The opposite is actually true. The more you recognize, the more you build someone’s confidence, enthusiasm, and willingness to keep pushing for excellence. If someone does something really over the top, it’s ok to recognize the moment and then come back later with a bigger thanks or reward. Just because you said thank you once, doesn’t mean that you can’t do it again.
Encourage your fellow workers. They need it no matter how great the culture of your team is.
Make a better tomorrow.