High-performing businesses celebrate their workforce.

You might remember the wonderful feeling of winning a prize at school and proudly bringing it home to show your parents. While you might consider the office and the playground to be a million miles away from each other, it turns out that there’s a lot that business leaders could learn from kindergarten teachers. 

A big lesson leaders should learn is that, however old you are, it feels great for someone in authority to tell you you’ve done well or give you some form of recognition. 

Many businesses are focused on ensuring their staff meet challenging goals, but when those goals are met, they forget to give their employees a well-earned thank you and pat on the back.

The key message here is: High-performing businesses celebrate their workforce. 

Research shows that over 50 percent of employees in high-performing organizations say that their leaders make an effort to recognize their achievements. But in low-performing businesses, only 25 percent of employees agree, and worse, a third say their managers never give them praise and recognition. 

Showing your gratitude isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s also a valuable tool for getting the best out of your team. It is a fact that employees who feel appreciated are more likely to go beyond what’s expected of them and put in more effort to reach the company’s goals. 

So how can you make a habit of recognizing your staff? 

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Sometimes, all it takes is putting your head around the door of someone’s office and saying thank you. In fact, research shows that this kind of spontaneous gratitude is more effective than planned praise. And don’t be shy about letting other people see you do it! While you should never criticize an employee in public, praise is best with an audience.

And be bold when it comes to showing your gratitude. One company decided to send their hard-working chief financial officer and his wife on a spa weekend, just to say thank you for his efforts. The result? Years later, this act of kindness was still being mentioned and appreciated among staff.