Acknowledging people for the contribution they make to a project team or to their organization is such a simple matter. It's something I say repeatedly wherever I can get on my "soapbox": We can acknowledge people at any time, at no cost, without having to buy anything, install software or study an instruction manual.
Last night my soapbox was a live webinar attended primarily by project managers from all over the world, including Hong Kong, China, India, Brazil and the United States.
During the seminar I asked participants, "How do you feel when you complete a project that you put your whole heart, soul, body, mind and spirit into for the past several months, the users love the end result and your manager gives you nothing more than a quick 'thank you?"
This was the response via text chat:
Tanya: feel used
Srikrithiga: not interested to work
James: feel indifferent
Sanjib: feeling of being empty--what was I doing all the time?
Ravindra: No motivation
Tanya: I won't give my best effort
Linda: lack of loyalty
Linda: feeling insecure, not as interested in working so hard
Fabricio: lack of motivation
Jade: feel not being valued, lack of respect
Then I asked, "How do you feel if your manager tells you what a difference your work made to the project team, how your contribution made the project a success, how much the users loved it, that she was getting wonderful feedback on it, and that the next time you would get more resources so you didn't have to work so many nights and weekends?"
And they answered:
James: I would feel appreciated; that motivates me
Shelley: Motivated...willing to give an even greater effort
Ravindra: I would make extra efforts
Mariano: I would feel like a giant
Jade: more loyalty
Linda Benedict: my confidence would be boosted by the acknowledgement
Srikrithiga: I would give 200% for work
Performance, loyalty, engagement, confidence, motivation, self-worth are all functions of acknowledgment rather than compensation.
Especially during these challenging economic times--when everyone is working harder and having to do more--let's do our best to create a culture of appreciation in which people know their value and their worth.
There could be nothing simpler and more satisfying and with greater results.