There are many different attributes that can contribute to the successful operation of a business. One of the most common attributes to possess is a solid sense of timing. For example, an office that is involved in sales will greatly gain from the right sense of timing needed to close a deal. Now, while most people understand that good timing can always help a business, they may have a limited perspective regarding the areas where timing is needed. Case in point, it is extremely beneficial to utilize the proper timing when displaying appreciation for an employee’s good work. Yes, while it is true that acknowledging quality work will help create a helpful team building environment; it is even truer if the appreciation is displayed at the right time.
Most leaders realize that showing appreciation for the hard work of the company’s employees is a good thing. However, leaders sometimes do not realize when it is the right time to thank a team member for a job well done. Yes, saying thanks to an employee is always a good thing but it should be done with the intention of delivering maximum impact. In other words, you want to get a positive reaction out of the recipient once you show gratitude. You do not want to evoke a casual or indifferent attitude and this could be the case if the gesture is done with improper timing. For example, if an employee does a great job on a project and it takes four weeks for you to acknowledge the excellent work, the employee may not think you are sincere. If you were, why would you wait a month to express your appreciation? Waiting too long can undermine your expression of gratitude.
This does not mean there is a wrong time to say “Good job.” It just means there are better times to do it and picking the right time to show appreciation will greatly help the work culture. This is because a positive impact will lead to the team feeling their work is appreciated which, in turn, will enhance office morale. And, with morale enhanced, a team becomes more productive and team building becomes much easier. This is why it is important to avoid letting too much time pass before making a statement. And, while some may not think of it, it is important to not say “Good job” in a manner that is too soon to be credible. For example, if an team member hands over a novel length report and you say great job an hour later, the employee may think you are making a token gesture. After all, reading the entire report in such a short amount of time may be impossible. Leaders should always instill a sense of sincerity with any appreciative gesture or sentiment they make. Strong teams will believe and respect sincerity in displays of gratitude and this will have a positive impact in the overall scope of the company.
So what would be the best time to make an honest display of gratitude towards an employee? Basically, it is always best to make such sentiments of appreciation as soon as possible and with as much clarity as possible. Let’s return to the previous example of the lengthy report handed to a supervisor to explain this. If the manager read the first few pages and found them exceptional, the manager should mention the amount that was read and state an honest (positive) opinion of them as soon as possible. If the manager cannot read the report for several days, the manager should mention that it took a little a while to read the report and the wait was worth it since the report is excellent. Once again, appreciation is shown and clarity is added to the time frame involved. Such expressions will definitely make a solid impression and all leadership building programs should stress this information. Also, these traits should be enacted with all employees as a means of enhancing the team building environment. A more cohesive and successful environment will be the result.
Once again, it is important to remember the reason timing and clarity are so critical to displays of appreciation is because these displays are intended with a clear objective in mind. That objective is to motivate team members to perform well. When you mix appreciation with clarity and timing — along with sincerity — the positive results will surpass your greatest expectations.