According to researchers, one of the most important factors to having a fully engaged work force is based upon the degree an employee feels understood and appreciated.
The study goes further to say that the reason most people don’t express appreciation more is that it can feel “fake.”
It made me think of baseball. I played baseball as a kid, mostly first base and some as a pitcher. One of the things you get taught as a ball player is to “chatter.”
When eight year olds chatter, they frequently just make noise. But, as I grew, I noticed the best teams chattered in a more sophisticated way.
The best players would not make noise during the pitch. They would speak words of encouragement to teammates between pitches.
“Good pitch” to a pitch placed in a strike zone.
“Let’s battle back” to a pitcher who fell behind a batter in a pitch count.
“Come on ‘blue'” as a friendly encouragement to an umpire who didn’t decide in our team’s favor.
“Way to motor” to a teammate who ran a distance to catch a ball.
“Way to get dirty” to a teammate who left his feet to keep a ground ball from getting by.
The best, smartest players were verbalizing encouragement after every pitch. It makes me wonder, how many of those players are those who say it feels awkward to pass out praise at work?
It’s not awkward if it’s the culture. It becomes the culture when people perform the practice. It doesn’t happen until someone starts doing it on a routine basis.
All you old ball players unite! Begin to notice all the good things people are doing around us! Speak up and say so. It makes us all happier to come to work.
PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace
Since 2005, he has been sharing his thoughts on the organization, leadership, and communication in an online daily note to teammates called Daily with HQ.