Our workplaces contain a wide variety of team members, with different personalities and styles. This is what makes work interesting, and leading teams challenging!
Sometimes it’s worth stopping to show appreciation for the unsung heroes in our workplaces. These are the people who play a valuable role that is not always recognised.
It’s not necessarily the smartest, most productive or engaged people that we need to show appreciation for. Let’s spend some time to think about some of the others.
Where Leaders Focus Their Attention
Leaders focus a lot of their attention putting out fires, addressing problems or trying to meet the next deadline. This means that naturally, we tend to focus on the following types of people:
- The Difficult People: Some team members are unhappy, difficult and cause problems in a team, and many leaders spend a lot of time trying to limit the impact they have on others.
- The Learners: Leaders often spend time with team members who need to develop their skills, helping them to improve through coaching and mentoring.
- The High Achievers: Many leaders also give a lot of attention to their “go-to” people. These are the ones who they trust the most. They give them the special projects and the tasks that are most important.
So what about the rest? There are many other team members that might not make this little list.
Learn More: 21 types of employees and how to lead them.
Underrated Team Members We Should Show Appreciation For
While a lot of time and attention is focused elsewhere, there are other team members that need our attention too. Let’s look at some of them now and start to show appreciation for the things they do.
1. Show Appreciation for The Social Organiser
The social organiser loves … well, organising things. They might plan your next work event or team lunch, or rally your team to take part in a fundraising effort.
Often, the events that this team member organises aren’t necessarily about work.
However, different social gatherings can play a big part in maintaining and strengthening the social fabric of a team.
Social organisers work to create forums that bring people together and get them talking, participating in activities that help strengthen relationships and team bonds.
The social organiser is often underrated, because the things they bring together are not about “work”. We’d be silly not to show appreciation for what they do, because they can make a big difference!
2. The Quiet Achiever
Ever had a high-performing team member that never makes a fuss? They don’t make a show of their accomplishments, nor do they demand your attention.
But when you sit down and think about what they do, you’ll hardly remember a time when they haven’t delivered for you.
These people may be quiet and may not push their opinions on others, but they sure do get their work done.
It’s worth showing appreciation for the quiet achievers in your team. They won’t demand your time, but perhaps it’s time to spend some, to show that you appreciate what they do for you.
3. The Nine to Fiver
Leaders love people who go “above and beyond” all the time. You know, the ones who burn extra hours because they’re so keen to progress and deliver.
We need them, especially in times where we have too much work to do, with too little time. However, let’s spare a thought for the person who does their work, works their hours and then goes home on time, every day.
They might not make the headlines or work the weekend to hit that deadline, but here’s what they do give you: stability. The nine to fiver will keep their work ticking over so you don’t need to worry about it.
Sure, we love the “go-getters” and they’re great! But go-getters want to progress their careers, they want to be recognised and they will demand your time.
A team full of super high-achievers is tricky – so let’s stop to show appreciation for the nine to fiver who keeps things moving.
4. Show Appreciation for The Joker
The joker makes people laugh and keeps the mood light. It’s not technically part of their job description, but they do it anyway.
Work can be exceedingly dull, excessively stressful and everything in between. So having people in your team who can lighten the mood and keep things upbeat are valuable. Even in times of trouble, they’ll make a crafty quip and get people giggling, even if it’s just for a few seconds.
Show some love to the joker, because the workplace is just a little less fun without them.
5. The Nurturer
As leaders, we need to show support for our team members. Sometimes we can’t quite find the time to spend with everyone, which is where the nurturer comes in.
The nurturer will help your team by providing support for their team mates. This might mean having a coffee to discuss a bad meeting, or lending a hand when a personal problem is affecting a colleague.
These people care about people, and they make your team a better place. It might not be part of their job, but they will go out of their way to make sure people are safe, secure and comfortable in the team.
A friendly ear and a shoulder to cry on can be valuable, so let’s show some appreciation for the nurturers out there.
Sometimes we overlook the people who aren’t yelling about their accomplishments or making a fuss. It’s time we started to notice and appreciate the people who help our teams remain stable, safe and enjoyable.
These valuable team members might not be comfortable with a big display of gratitude, but sometimes a simple private “Thank you” can be enough to show them that you notice what they bring.
Without these people, work can be boring, stressful and unsatisfying.
Who would want that?