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Running a successful business comes with many key responsibilities like finding a right fit audience that is in need of your services (your leads), making sure existing client needs are met, and of course managing employees to keep your business in motion. A lot of business leaders quickly understand and focus on the need for the first two, but sometimes may underestimate the human resource side of doing business.
A Harvard Business Review article shared that 40% of American employees would put more into their work if they were recognized more often. What would it look like for your company if 40% more of your employees put more energy into their efforts?
Employees are one of the most important relationships in running your entire business. After all, they are the people who get to experience your business firsthand and if their hearts aren’t in it - that could potentially reach your clients as well. On the flip side, if you’re nurturing your employees the right way, they can become some of your biggest advocates and/or ambassadors for your business. Think of their love (emotional loyalty) for your company as a magnet that will attract more opportunities for success.
One of the first things we suggest to our clients when looking for ways to create emotional connections with their employees is to look for moments to acknowledge and celebrate your team. Where are the moments that you can be sharing your gratitude for their hard work or simply celebrate something in their world?
We recently found a great article that we felt could really help simplify the expression of gratitude and appreciation. The article, titled, “This Simple Strategy for Giving Feedback Can Help Your Business Flourish”, was written by Kristen Ireland and Erin Mies of People Spark Consulting. Together, they specialize in transforming business cultures through human resources and people strategies, where both women have had over 10+ years of experience in this field.
In their article, Kristen and Erin share research that shows how important it is to make sure your employees feel valued and appreciated through feedback, and how that can lead to many positive sparks in your business. They do a great job at breaking down and explaining not only the importance of building those solid relationships with your employees, but also a simple strategy as to how to do so.
Sometimes giving employee feedback can have this sort of negative feel to it, because who wants to hear about how they’re not doing a “good job”? However, this doesn’t always have to be the case because what really matters is your delivery. People Spark Consulting believe that you can learn how to give purposeful and constructive feedback, regardless of it being positive or negative, and actually leave your employees feeling more inspired and motivated. Through feedback, employees also gather more of an understanding of your expectations of them and their job.
One of the reasons this article felt so useful for us is that our clients often tell us they just don’t know what to say or write. So instead of seizing that moment to acknowledge an employee, they let the moment pass. People Spark Consulting suggest ways to go about acknowledging your employees’ hard work, which we thought could also assist people in other employee relationship building efforts such as writing cards, and etc.
How exactly does the People Spark Consulting article translate over to card writing and looking for positive moments to acknowledge?
Kristen and Erin teach their clients how to use this super simple three-part method that they call “BIT”. BIT stands for behavior, impact, and tomorrow, where they state that, “BIT helps you break down the feedback process into three manageable chunks so you can pinpoint the behavior you want to address, explain the impact it has on your business, and communicate what your expectations are moving forward.” Within their article (link provided above), they provide a couple examples of how and when to use this method for offering positive and constructive feedback.
For writing a card you can format your message out in a very similar way to the “BIT” method.
Explain to your employee about how their behavior is appreciated in the workplace.
Tell them why their impact at the workplace is so important and valued.
Mention the future and how you see them and want them to be a part of it.
Let’s look at some examples.
If you’re writing out a birthday card with this method, here’s how it could look:
We appreciate how hard you continue to work day in and day out (behavior). You do so much for this business and we can’t express enough how much we appreciate your efforts! (impact) We can’t wait to see what else the future holds for you in this business and look forward to continuing having you be a part of our team! (tomorrow). Happy Birthday from your family at The Expressory!
- Your Team
You can use this same format with other card messages, such as a thank you or business anniversary.
I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your help with organizing our team meeting (Behavior). All of your efforts allowed the leadership team to focus on some important initiatives we couldn’t have done without your ownership of the event. (Impact). We’ll continue to look for more opportunities to enable your creativity and planning skills to shine bright and look forward to watching your success. (Tomorrow)
As you can see, the BIT format is rather flexible and provides some structure for sharing your gratitude, the same as it does with feedback in general. Doing so builds stronger relationships with your employees while also building up your business, truly is a win-win scenario. Here at The Expressory, we can’t emphasize enough how important it is to nurture those relationships with your team to create a working environment that they genuinely enjoy and want to be a part of.
Relationships are the cornerstone of what we do at The Expressory. Let's get to know each other and find out if The Expressory can help you grow your brand through personalized experiences.
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