Written by John McMahon
Human beings are hard-wired to crave recognition.
When we know that others are seeing us in a positive light, our brains release a few chemicals into our systems that make us feel good both physically and emotionally. This feeling encourages us to engage or move towards the source that triggered it.
In short, we move closer because we want more of that feeling.
I was reminded of this on a recent flight from the city of Chicago, which had just held its annual marathon.
I was in my seat, waiting for other passengers to take theirs when I overheard multiple people offering congratulations to a man who was making his way down the aisle.
At first, I thought he might be someone famous or a public figure who’d accomplished something newsworthy.
I was wrong.
As he passed by me, I saw that he was wearing the medal he’d received for completing the marathon. Walking upright and proudly, he graciously accepted recognition from strangers as he made his way to his seat. Can you put yourself in his shoes and imagine how good that must have felt?
Now imagine what your business would be like if every person in it felt as good about themselves as that marathoner did. Everyone, leaning in, moving forward and feeling great about what they’re achieving.
And if the thought of your people feeling great isn’t enough for you, research shows that when people are operating in this mode, their productivity goes up 25-50%.
Recognition isn’t the only source of engagement, but it’s a powerful one. In our work with our clients, we teach several tools to help them systematize it and build it into the fabric of their companies. Here are a few that you might consider using:
None of these tools costs a penny. Yet they have the power to trigger positive feelings in your people and strengthen their sense of self-worth, engagement, loyalty, and results.
If you’re at a point where increased engagement and productivity would help your business, consider giving these no-cost/high-impact tools a try. Start recognizing your people regularly. You’ll be glad you did.