Everyone likes to receive praise and positive feedback for the work they do. This surprises some managers and bosses. I have heard, more times than I can count, that “getting a paycheck is all the thanks they need.” Not true according to Gallup, and, if you stop and think about what you like and how you like to be treated, you know it too. You may have never thought about it in terms of getting the best work from your team, but deep down, everyone likes to receive recognition for doing good work – even if they say they don’t.

Likely, you now see the pattern in these first four questions and how they each relate to standards and standardization. Let’s review them here to illustrate how all of them work together.

  • Q1: I know what’s expected of me at work.
  • Q2: I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
  • Q3: At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.

And, once your team is enthusiastically shouting “yes!” to these first three questions, we arrive at Question #4:

  • Q4: In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.

Read those four questions again and really see how they all fit together. I know what’s expected, I have the tools I need, I have room to do my best, and now, I want to be praised for doing my best. If you are one of those “their paycheck is all the credit they need” people, I am probably going to lose you right here. And that would be a shame. Although there is nothing I have seen from Gallup to support this specifically, I will tell you that, from personal experience, if you only got the first four questions (yes, including this one) right and totally failed on the remaining eight questions, you would be so far ahead of most companies, and your workplace would be an amazing one to be a part of.

This question falls under standards and standardization because without them, there is little opportunity for receiving praise and recognition. If your staff doesn’t know what’s expected of them, doesn’t have the tools they need, and doesn’t have opportunity to do their best, they will not be praised for the work they are doing. How can they be? And, as we said in an earlier post, they will be miserable working there. It is no fun whatsoever to want to do a great job and feel like you are spinning your wheels or chasing ever-moving targets. So, yes Q4 is also related to how well you manage your standards and your standardization of those standards. If this question is troubling to you, look at it this way. If you knew that stopping and taking the time to tell your people that they were doing well would dramatically improve attitude and energy, would you do it? What if you knew that you could 5, 6, 7, 8x productivity from your staff at the same time – and that they would be happier as a result. Would you do it? Would you take the time to notice and let them know? And, going back to the question, remember it says “in the last seven days.” So, this is not something that you mark on your review checklist and do with them once a quarter, it’s a weekly practice.

I’ve done this, and an interesting thing happened in the process. When I started noticing that people were doing well and started telling them they were doing well, at first, it was really awkward. It was foreign to me and to them. As time went on, however, I kept at it, and it became so much easier to see, it became more fun, and staff started working harder to have more opportunities to be “caught” doing well. As with the other questions, there are “wins all around” with this one. It will be strange for you and them if you’ve never done it before, but be genuine and start doing it. It will blow your mind.

That’s the end of this post. For your reference, here is a list Gallup’s Q12 questions (along with their titles). As you read through them now with the perspective of the last six posts, reflect on how standardization is tied to the first four and the remaining eight are all about personal development and emotional intelligence. If you have not done the Gallup survey in the past, I encourage you to do it at least once every 6-12 months to see how you are doing as leaders in these areas. You and your people will be glad you did.

Q1: Know What’s Expected
I know what’s expected of me at work.

Q2: Materials and Equipment
I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.

Q3: Opportunity To Do Best
At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.

Q4: Recognition
In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.

Q5: Cares About Me
My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.

Q6: Development
There is someone at work who encourages my development.

Q7: Opinions Count
At work, my opinions seem to count.

Q8: Mission/Purpose
The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.

Q9: Committed to Quality
My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.

Q10: Best Friend
I have a best friend at work.

Q11: Progress
In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.

Q12: Learn and Grow
This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.

written by Wally Hines