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6 Unique Ways to Pat your Team Member’s Back

#5 — Tell their Best Friend about it


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Anuj Narang

3 years ago | 4 min read

I was awarded an Apple Watch last year for my stellar performance for making our company’s user conference immensely successful.

I come from the background of not owning a gadget north of $300, so I was completely esctatic. The cherry on the cake which made my heart heavy was a token of appreciation from the Global Head of Marketing for me.

I must have worked 12 hours that day, that too with twice the efficiency. I simply did not want to stop. I remember I was the last one to leave the office, that too after multiple phone calls from my room-mate.

This made me think about how long a way a pat on the back can actually go. It’s been a year but I remember each and every word said by the CMO for me.

From that day onward, I started finding my own unique ways of patting my team members’ back from time to time — showing them that I care.


1. An Out-of-the Blue Gratitude Email

I have more than a 100 “quick appreciation” emails in my inbox from my management. Here’s what most of them look like —

- Great Work!
- Keep up the good work Anuj!
- This is awesome! Well done!
- This is really good stuff. Keep up.

These emails are great and I love getting them from time to time. The only problem though is that they are mostly reactions to a stimulus — a successful project completion or month’s quota achievement.

I’d be fascinated if someone sends me an appreciation email when I am least expecting it. Nothing much fancy — just a couple of lines about how they are thankful for me and my services.

“Anuj,
Thanks for making my life easier at work. I appreciate all the hard work you do for me and the company. We’re proud to have you here.
- Boss”

Short. Crisp. Sweet. Honest. Unexpected.
There is no way that I do not star mark this email and keep looking at it from time-to-time.


2. Leave a Post-It Note on their Desk

You know why post-it notes are awesome?
Because they require effort.

You’d have to first go to the market and buy one (or make the effort of ordering it from Amazon).

You’d then have to come up with the content you have to write on it, search for a pen, jot it down in a handwriting that can be understood and then paste it on your team member’s desk.

Effort! Which is very different from the effort spent on simply writing an email or a text message.

To add to it, if these little notes are left on people’s desk, it adds that element of surprise to it which works wonders.

Moreover, they can be saved and treasured for life — like a physical award or a memento.

You can even choose to leave a small chocolate behind if your team member has a sweet tooth (or you have a spare chocolat ewith you).

Credits - My Phone
Credits - My Phone


3. Assign them an Additional Responsibility

Let’s be honest — No one likes extra work.

However, employees like being responsible for something. Especially if they get to know that they have earned it.

And also, especially, if they are the chosen one from a bunch of other contenders. Humans are competitive by nature.

I’ve seen my team members get an additional burst of energy level on so many days when they’ve earned an additional work like — a mentee being assigned to them or an additional project they’ve earned.

It’s also hitting 2 birds with the same stone — getting an additional work done and patting the back of the person it’s being assigned to.


4. Shout-Out on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the best tools out there in terms of visibility to the key stakeholders of a business.

People not only use it for lead generation purposes, but also as an excellent platform for marketing their content.

LinekdIn has come up with a pretty cool feature for promoting employee appreciation. You can give a virtual pat-on-the back in the form of “Kudos” to any of your connection.

How is it important and different?

You’re doing it publically. Not only does your team member or colleague get to know about it, but it also has chances of coming up and featuring on your and their home feed.

It’s like a mini award ceremony where many other people can see you appreciating someone for their efforts.

You can choose do to dit on a private message as well on LinkedIn, But what good would the Oscars be if there weren’t a crowd present?

5. Tell their best friend about it (who you know, will rat it out to them)

Usually, ratting someone out behind their back is a common scenario in the corporate world.

But we hardly see someone appreciating someone else behind their back. Because — what’s the point?

You might have other questions in mind as well — What if it never reaches the recipient of the appreciation? Should I just not directly do it?

The answer is Yes. You can obviously appreciate someone directly. But doing it this way adds a different flavour and dimension altogether to the whole thing.

I’d personally love to hear from a fellow manager or a colleague that my boss has said a few good words about me to them.

It’s a different kick altogether.

6. Physically Patting their Back

This is almost never done now.

Gone are the times when the boss or manager especially came to an employee’s desk, shake their hand proudly and pat their back in front of everyone for their contribution.

We have come out with many unique and virtual ways of doing this, so this one s more often than not ignored.

However, I believe the physical patting of a back is something which can never be replaced.

It has an old-school uniqueness of its own which cannot be compared with anything else. This needs to be done more often.

A pat on the back goes a long way; especially if it comes from someone who genuinely means it.Credits — QuickMeme

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