I was lucky enough to be invited to break bread with my good friend Bruce Mahood (Sales Director South East Enterprise at NetApp) and his team in Nashville, Tennessee.
Bruce and the team are celebrating a great first half at NetApp, while preparing for a big push to the end of the year.
During our conversations the team actually felt that they could do a better job of celebrating and rewarding success along the way. Not just the big wins, but also the small steps of progress and good examples of the new behaviours that they are looking for in their teams.
Sometimes I think we can get caught up in the pressures of the day to day business and we forget how important and valuable this can be.
I also think that some of us find it hard to celebrate or to reward good behaviour!
Some people that have not been offered reward or recognition through their life can end up not needing it or even disliking it. But they forget that others around them do need it. I ask them to find a way to prioritise rewarding others or find someone who is good at it that can help them
Some people find it hard to give positive reinforcement and reward, because they feel that it comes across in authentic. My advice it to make it very specific and timely. Tell the person exactly what it was that you liked and why. Don’t just say “good job, keep doing what you are doing”.
Some people don’t like to give positive reinforcement or reward as they feel that the person may slack! In my experience it is exactly the opposite. Many of us come to work because we want to make a difference and feel like we are adding value. If someone recognises this it makes us feel good and we want to do it again. Many people will run a hundred miles for you if you notice them doing something good and call it out.
When you give positive reward it actually encourages a release of oxytocin, which is the feel-good hormone. It’s the same feeling that you get when you hug someone.
As this feels good the person wants to perform the same behaviour again. They then get a feel-good dopamine reaction every time they perform this behaviour as it creates the anticipation of another reward and another oxytocin hit.
This is a strong motivator for people and if you are not doing this as a leader or colleague you are missing a big opportunity.
So, take time to find ways to give regular reward and thanks for good behaviour.
My good friend and inspirational leader, Tom Mendoza (Vice Chairman at NetApp) has on average made 5 to 10 calls a day throughout his career, calling people unannounced to tell them that he has found them doing something good for NetApp and their customers. I have met people that missed the call from Tom and have kept the voicemail and play it years later during a down moment to lift their spirits.
How many calls do you make?