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Encouragement Beats Correction Every Time

Updated on January 25, 2013

The sixth of a twelve-part series based the Gallup Q12

This hub is the sixth of a twelve-part series based the Gallup Q12, a twelve question measure of employee engagement. Why does all this talk about engagement matter in today’s workplace? According to Gallup, "Happy employees are better equipped to handle workplace relationships, stress, and change. Companies that understand this, and help employees improve their wellbeing, can boost their productivity.” (1)

This hub addresses Gallup Q12 Question 6: Is there someone at work who encourages your development? (If you want to see all twelve questions, the link can be found at the end of this article.) (2)

Employees who have someone cheering on their efforts have more passion for what they do, they perform better even when no one is looking, and they inspire the people around them. Whether a formal mentoring program is in place, or there is more of an informal environment of encouragement, both the employee and the employer win.

Anne Lawrence, President of A&B Leadership Group ( believes that employers are quick to request help from their staff members, but slow to recognize their efforts. Many managers believe that because the duties that go along with getting their job done is what they are being paid for and employees don’t need or deserve any acknowledgement beyond their paychecks. Lawrence feels that the people who made the most substantial impact in the lives of others are the people that genuinely care about another person and aren’t afraid to show it. People thrive when they have a mentor, someone who sees their potential, even if it’s potential they could not see for themselves). Everyone does better when they have a champion.”

Lawrence believes, “everyone has a sign hanging around their necks saying, ‘Acknowledge me, Accept me and Appreciate me.’ These 3 A’s are a powerful motivating force, leading to retention, enthusiasm and commitment.” (3)

Let’s explore each of these motivators in greater detail:

Acknowledge: To acknowledge someone is simply to recognize their existence, to “see” them. If you saw the movie, Avatar, you’ll remember that the Navi people (the blue inhabitants of the planet) greeted each other with the words, “I see you.” This was more than a greeting, it was an acknowledgement. How often do you walk by your team members without so much as a glance? Yes, you’re busy and you have a lot on your mind, doesn’t everyone? By taking a moment to make eye contact, to greet them by name, or to smile (or at least nod) lets your employees know that they matter.

Accept: If you have ever taken a personality test, you realize that we all process events and circumstances differently. In your office, you employ extroverts and introverts; task-oriented and people-oriented individuals; quick thinkers and the more contemplative. When you take the time to figure out what “makes a person tick” you enhance your understanding and acceptance of your team’s individual traits in ways that you may not have considered before. Learn to communicate with your team member in the way in which THEY need to communicate. Focus on the other person first, and you will both be better because of it.

Appreciate: It’s critical to express gratitude to your employees for a job well done. Pay attention to how your employees like to be acknowledged. Some of your staff members thoroughly enjoy public recognition, while others favor a more low-key approach. Personalizing your gratefulness goes a long way when creating a culture of appreciation. When you thank your employees, they are more productive, happier, and easier to get along with at work.

By implementing the 3 A’s, your company will experience increased efficiency, better customer satisfaction, higher quality outcomes and lower costs.

When you believe in the skills, expertise, and abilities of your employees, you may be seeing more in them than they see in themselves. When you set the bar high, and encourage them every step of the way, your employees will go above and beyond all of your expectations.


(1) Gallup Study: Feeling Good Matters in the Workplace,
s-in-the.aspx (accessed January 20, 2013).

(2) (

(3) What roadblocks keep you from recognizing and appreciating ..,
MA/1047082-26269848 (accessed January 20, 2013)

Encouragement Poll

Do you receive encouragement at work?

See results


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