Building a culture of appreciation

| By:
Susan Perez

Around this time of year, many folks start thinking and talking about what they are grateful for and who they can give thanks to and show their appreciation. It’s wonderful that many turn their focus to gratitude right about now, but a culture of appreciation should exist year-round.

As managed service providers (MSPs) and just human beings in general, what can we do to make appreciation and gratitude front and center every day of the year?

Here are five ways to build—and stick to—a culture of appreciation any day of the week.

1. Make a gratitude list

Whether you do this daily, weekly, or monthly, start a habit of naming things you’re grateful for. Actually, put pen to paper and write down three to five things that fill you with gratitude. According to Forbes, writing things down makes your mind more efficient by helping you focus on the important stuff.

Finding it hard to think of something to add to your list? Start small. Be thankful for a recent invoice that was paid, a conversation with a long-term client, or even a really good cup of coffee.

By training your mind to have a lens of appreciation, you’ll find it gets easier to focus on what makes you feel grateful.

And while things like “the roof over my head” or “the love of my family” may seem too generic, think again! Shelter, love, food, and family are incredibly important, and you can never be too grateful for them!

2. Give kudos where kudos is due

When warranted, there’s no such thing as giving too much praise. In fact, holding back from giving praise may have a drastic negative impact on productivity and morale. In a recent poll, 40% of employed Americans said they’d put more energy into their work if they were recognized more often.

The awesome thing about giving employees praise is that it costs nothing to do! Yet the benefits are many.

Employees will feel more dedicated to their roles, feel encouraged to seek out more opportunities, morale as a whole will increase, and work quality is bound to go up.

It’s not enough to give employees a paycheck and expect them to show up and do their best. Your techs need to feel like you’re invested in them, and in turn, they will be more invested in your MSP. By the way, there’s no need to wait for a formal review or end of the quarter to recognize your team. Shout it out anytime, anywhere, and always make sure a job well done is noted.

3. Clock in some 1:1

MSP owners and managers are really busy people and are masters at prioritizing. But that should never come at the expense of employees. If you’re not prioritizing one-on-one meetings with each of your direct reports, you could be making a big mistake.

In a recent workplace study, employees who had one-on-one time with their managers were 67% less likely to be disengaged than their peers who didn’t have one-on-one time.

A culture of disengaged employees is the last thing you’d want. One-on-ones give managers and employees the opportunity to discuss project feedback, goal progress, job performance expectations, career development initiatives, and more. Again, taking the time to invest in your team members can create significant positive rewards, like increased productivity, happiness, and loyalty.

Taking the time to have regularly scheduled one-on-one meetings is such a powerful way for managers to show how much they care.

4. Dish out the rewards

Whenever and however possible, put your money where your mouth is. For employees who have been consistently recognized for their hard work, consider taking it one step further and rewarding them for their results.

Obviously, raises and promotions go a long way, but sometimes that may not be possible for any number of reasons.

Instead, consider giving out a prime parking spot for your employee of the month, or a gift card to the tech who closed the most tickets last month, or an extra day or two of PTO to the team who crushed their quarterly goal.

Also, remember that keeping your employees feeling appreciated and incentivized doesn’t have to cost big bucks—get creative and find new ways to reward your rockstars.

5. Get everybody involved

Praise from the top of the chain is worth a heck of a lot when you’re talking about making sure employees feel recognized, but that doesn’t mean the responsibility to praise falls solely on the shoulders of managers and executives.

Consider implementing a peer review system where all colleagues have the opportunity to recognize one another. There are programs, like TinyPulse, that can automate the process of collecting employee feedback, making it easier to bake into your processes.

When all employees have a hand in making sure their peers are getting the recognition they deserve, the desire to praise almost becomes contagious. It can really set off a great culture of positivity in the workplace.