Motivation and inspiration play a key role in board performance. One of the easiest ways to increase these two elements of performance is by improving appreciation and recognition among your directors and CEO.
There are several ways to show appreciation to your board.
When we say “appreciation and recognition” people usually assume we are referring to external rewards such as bonuses or stock options. While these are effective ways to motivate and show appreciation, they pale in comparison to the effects of personal recognition. CEOs and Chairs should strive to individually recognize their director’s achievements.
Public recognition is one of the best ways to successfully show appreciation for directors.
Public recognition heightens the board’s prestige and instills feelings of pride in all members. When directors feel appreciated, they are more likely to participate, share ideas, work collaboratively, and demonstrate care for each other. Public recognition can take many forms.
Chairs can take time during a board meeting to thank a specific director for an idea or perspective that was helpful. CEOs can publicly recognize their board by releasing statements to the press about improved company performance or highlight their work in company newsletters. Take the example of the Hillsboro Main Street Program which was recently commended by the Texas Historical Commission for successful annual progress as a designated historical Main Street community. When the CEO was accepting the award, he took time to thank each of his board members by name. Names hold a special meaning and calling out board members specific names creates an effective emotional connection. This was clearly a big achievement for the group, and recognizing all of the involved directors is a simple and sincere way of showing appreciation. When a board is recognized for their work, the experience serves as a bonding component and improves overall board cohesiveness.
Another way of showing recognition and appreciation is by staying in tune with what your directors are doing outside of the company.
Bring your colleague’s outside achievements to the attention of the entire board. If they have recently been published, won an award, or done something worth being proud of, make note of it, inform your fellow directors and CEO, and congratulate them. Acknowledging people’s strengths and achievements makes them feel more valued and incentivizes them to be more diligent in their work. This goes for directors recognizing CEOs too. It is important to show appreciation for your CEOs work and their efforts within the company.
Withholding recognition tends to create negative feelings which can lead to resentment towards the board and disengagement. In your next board meeting, I encourage you to make the most out of opportunities to inspire your directors – recognize and appreciate! It’s simple, but it makes a huge difference.
If you would like more information on how to inspire your board through appreciation and recognition, contact [email protected].