The surprisingly easy step to becoming an exceptional boss

The average leader serves in the executive ranks for nearly a decade before receiving any formal leadership training. While the widespread lack of development could hurt many leaders and organizations, there is one simple trick any leader can employ regardless of training: recognize great work.

Calling out your employees' accomplishments right away — and doing so consistently and frequently — helps them feel appreciated, acknowledged and engaged. Providing this recognition also has a significant positive impact on employee morale, according to Harvard Business Review

New leaders can foster an immediate and substantial boost in employee job satisfaction — by up to 31 percentage points — by simply giving recognition to those who have never previously received any from their supervisors, according to HBR.

Findings from one study of 2,415 employees across 10 countries found strong correlation between loyalty and acknowledgement, according to HBR. Among the 512 U.S. employees who said their company has strong recognition practices, 87 percent indicated they have a solid relationship with their direct manager. Just 51 percent said they have such a relationship in companies that lack recognition practices.

Another study found seven out of 10 employees who receive some sort of appreciation from their bosses said they are happy with their jobs, while only 39 percent of employees who said their bosses don't show them appreciation are satisfied.  

Frequency plays an important role when it comes to showing appreciation. In the first study mentioned, 82 percent of employees who said their boss shows them appreciation more than once a month reported a strong bond between them, while 63 percent employees who said they are recognized for their work less than once a month report strong ties.

Showing appreciation to employees has a direct effect on those receiving the recognition, but it also has a significant indirect effect on those who see great work being rewarded. In another study, researchers found by simply publicly presenting employees with a "years of service" award, managers demonstrated to all employees that the organization cares about them.

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