Merge's Blog

One final idea to help your employees become more resilient

Today’s video is the final strategy in our series on specific actions you can take as a leader to help your employees become more resilient.  I’ve been sharing these strategies all year, and I can’t believe that this is the last one!   So our final strategy is: Recognize and celebrate your people and their accomplishments.

Recognize and celebrate your people

If you want your employees to become more resilient, then you need to think of them as condiment bottles.  Yes, I know that sounds weird, so let me explain.

Back in 2003, I first told the story about my little niece who was with me while we grilled some chicken on the barbeque one summer afternoon.  She picked up the plastic bottle of ketchup and asked, “Aunty, if I squeeze this bottle, what will come out?”  Matter of factly, I replied, “Ketchup”.  Then she picked up the bottle of mustard and asked once again, “And if I squeeze this bottle, what will come out?”  “Mustard,” I replied. True to form, she leaned over to pick up the bottle of relish, and just as predictably, I jumped in, “And when you squeeze the bottle of relish, out comes relish.”  With the innocence found only in a child, she asked, “But why Aunty?”  And that point, I paused, stumped by this seemingly simple question.  Sensing my hesitation, she smiled, and offered an answer of her own.  “I know why, Aunty,” she said.  “When you squeeze the bottle, what’s inside has to come out.”

What comes out when they’re squeezed?

See, your employees are like those plastic condiment bottles.  When they get “squeezed” by the routineness and randomness of things that happen in the workplace and in their lives, what’s inside has to come out.  If you fill them up with positive messages, then that’s what will come out when they are squeezed.  And of course, if you don’t, the negativity will pour out.

So appreciate abundantly, convey gratitude, be supportive.  When you use recognition and rewards as a way to fill people up, their confidence goes up, and they become more resilient.  Say thank you often, praise aplenty, acknowledge effort even if the outcome is not what was expected.  Celebrate milestones, and they don’t have to be big ones.  Be generous in your applause for big results as well as the small ones.  When you recognize and celebrate, your employees become more resilient.

As I mentioned at the beginning, this video is the last one in this series titled Building resiliency in your employees.  You can view the entire series in one place here:

But now it’s your turn.  As you look back over the earlier videos, what have I missed?  What are you doing to help your employees become more resilient?   Please share, so that we can learn from one another.

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