Have You Thanked Anyone Today?

Norb Slowikowski / December 2017

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” —Zig Ziglar

With the year winding down and the holiday season approaching, it seems like a good time to discuss the concept of gratitude and how it relates to your business.
    
If you are in a position of management, it’s a typical tendency to hold your people accountable for their actions, behaviors and performance. Accountability fits under the functional skill of control. Control standards are most effective when they are related to the performance of a specific individual. We hold people accountable to the desired results we want them to achieve. To be an effective manager, there must be an accountability system in place. Using accountability doesn’t have to be a negative approach to management. The more positive you can be with your people, the more rewards you will receive.
    
Set your standards for each key job responsibility so that you can have a measurement of performance. When people know what their job entails and what is expected of them, they can perform in the best way possible for the outcomes the company desires.
    
Responsibilities and standards should include the following:
    
Quality—No rework.
    
Safety—No accidents, injuries of unsafe practices/conditions
    
Planning & Organization—The right type and amount of manpower, tools and equipment are on the job site when needed. Avoid unnecessary delays.
    
Communication—Open, honest two-way communication with all players in the process. Encourage feedback and active listening.
    
Leadership—Establish a positive work climate. Make teamwork a reality. Be proactive, not reactive.
    
If you have other standards that you find necessary for successful management of your team, add them!
    
Once you know what your responsibilities and standards are, be sure to also include the following:
    
Communication of standards and responsibilities to the foremen. Make sure the foremen understand that they are to measure performance, and these standards are “must do’s”—no maybe or might do. Standards will not be compromised.
    
MBWA—Manage by Walking Around. This is your chance to follow up and check on progress and performance. Are the crew people meeting the standards? Are they underperforming? Are they getting it done right?
    
If standards are met, provide positive reinforcement—show gratitude. Empower your foremen to provide positive reinforcement as good work occurs. Why? Because when you reinforce positive performance it tends to repeat itself. A natural tendency in many of us is to look at what is wrong first; criticism comes too easy to many managers. Try to incorporate a gratitude mindset when you are looking at performance of your people.
    
When you have a perspective of gratitude it

  • Connects you to your employee in a positive way.
  • Creates a partnership of shared values and shared outcomes.
  • Builds harmony and teamwork.
  • Makes people feel good about themselves and what they do on the job.

With all that you need to take care of over an average work day (and how many of them are ever average?), sometimes taking a fresh approach is the best approach. Taking stock of what you have can create a positive mindset. Expressing gratitude to your team will gain you more positive outcomes and successful performance.
    
All The Best for you and your family and your employees and their families in the coming year.

Norb Slowikowski is president of Slowikowski & Associates, Inc., Darien, Ill. To contact him, email norbslow2@gmail.com.

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