We all know it’s important to recognize a job well done and express gratitude. We also know we should exercise consistently and eat a healthy diet. Just because we know we *should* do something, does that mean you *are* doing it?
We have fun and creative ways here at the Academy to recognize teammates who are doing a great job. We can shout them out on Slack, the tool we use for instant messaging at the office, with a CBA (Caught Being Awesome) post. We have lunch for the entire team after our Summits where we can eat, celebrate the successes at our events and specifically recognize teammates who made an impact.
Once a year, we acknowledge one another in a meaningful and authentic way. In order to deliver this gift and spend time reflecting on the appreciation we have for each person on our team, we ask everyone to write out their acknowledgments PRIOR to a company-wide meeting. As our team has grown, we have found that spending time *before* our meeting sets the tone of appreciation for one another and allows us to not rush through this exercise at the beginning of the meeting. We distribute the acknowledgments to everyone so they have a copy they can keep. I’ve stumbled upon past acknowledgments when looking for something and it always bring a smile to my face, even years later, to know that others found my work and efforts helpful to them.
Are you ready to add this exercise to your next team meeting or retreat? Here are some questions you can use to prompt your team when working on this exercise:
- Think about who has made your job easier or your life happier this year
- Who has gone above and beyond the responsibilities of their position to help you with something?
- Who has provided you with an attitude adjustment or given you a swift kick in the butt when you needed it?
- In short, what stands out for you about this co-worker?
As you take the time to write something thoughtful about everyone on your team, be sure that you are specific and authentic in your acknowledgment. You are the leader of your firm and brushing over someone’s contributions or giving them generic praise defeats the point of this exercise. Take the time to think through what makes each person a valuable member of your team and how your firm is better because of their contributions.
Bonus tip – Set a reoccurring 15-minute calendar appointment to check in with each person on your team on a regular basis. This personal appointment will serve as a reminder to check on that person’s energy, morale, and provide guidance and praise.
Director, Projects and Event Planning
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128
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