May 2016

The Magic of Acknowledgement

Our brains are magical things.

Think of times when you’ve been happy, pleased, or just plain felt great. In the moment, you probably didn’t realize that the root cause of that happiness were hormones being released by your brain; hormones such as serotonin (happiness), dopamine (pleasure), and oxytocin (love).

Acknowledgment is also a magic thing.

Think of times when you’ve been acknowledged for a job well done. How did you feel? Did serotonin, dopamine, and even oxytocin surge through your body? Did the acknowledgement push you to continue to work hard; possibly even go above and beyond expectations? I’m guessing the answer is yes.

Now that you are a CEO, it pays to remember the magic of acknowledgement. I know things at your company can be fast­-paced and stressful, that the simple things-­­such as acknowledgement­­-can be easily forgotten. But this is a mistake. If you acknowledge your employees for doing good work, they will feel valued, motivated, which, in turn, sets in motion a highly-­coveted success factor for your business-­­discretionary effort.

What is discretionary effort? Discretionary effort is the effort an employee will voluntarily make for your company, as opposed to effort which is demanded, forced, threatened, induced, or bribed.

In short, discretionary effort is a magical thing too.

Niousha Ehsan, CEO of LINKVIVA, is no stranger to the magic of acknowledgement. LINKVIVA is a high­=end events management company that was recently awarded a spot on the Top 100 SME Companies in Dubai list as well as named a Great Place to Work. In the past, despite being successful, LINKVIVA had a chronic attrition issue. However, as soon as Niousha began passing out deserved acknowledgement on a daily basis, everything turned around and the awards started to roll in.

Today, Niousha follows these three clear steps to acknowledge her employees:

1. Observe and acknowledge their contributions

2. Ask, “what do you want to be acknowledged for?”

3. Reproduce what they want to be acknowledged for

You don’t need to be a sorcerer to use magic. Like Niousha, all you need to do is slow down, observe, and acknowledge your employees for jobs well done. You will be surprised at the results that your company will see.

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