There I was reading – or should I say, re-reading “How to Make Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie (a seminal classic from 1930’s self-help culture)…
I was reading one particular chapter, and it struck me like a frying pan … “This is exactly what so many people miss with their outsourcing.”
It was chapter #2 – if you’ve read the book, you’ll know – and if you haven’t read it, you should. Sure, some things have evolved somewhat since the 30’s, but the basic concepts are true – people are still people. Worth reading.
Anyway, the chapter in question is all about showing GENUINE appreciation, and if and when good work or anything good is done, genuinely express that appreciation.
I’m going to show you in minute, how this precisely relates to your outsource team, especially in the Philippines, and some little known cultural differences.
The Benefits Of Appreciation
Charles Schwab, the industrialist and steel-man, was one of the best paid people of the early 1900’s . Equating what he earned into today’s money is difficult but it is somewhere between $6 million and $68 million (depending on whether you compare by value of gold, since the gold standard of currency was still in place back then, or comparing by inflation). When asked why he could command such a multimillion dollar income he answered…
“I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people the greatest asset I posses, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.
There is nothing else that so kills ambitions of a person as criticism from superiors. I never criticize anyone. I believe in giving a person incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise but loathe to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation [approval] and lavish in my praise”.
I don’t know about you, but I’m happy to take my lead and copy from a guy that earns that kind of income.
NOTE we are talking genuine appreciation, not empty flattery. And not some fluffy, lovey-dovey kindness. Genuine appreciation for good work or output.
This is what so many people miss completely with their outsourcing.
This is actually one of my pet peeves – one things that really annoys and upsets me. So many people treat their outsource team like they were robots, not humans, but slaves or serfs, ordering them what to do, without the human interaction or feedback.
Totally and completely out of order. They’re real people. Two eyes. One mouth. A brain – hopefully a good, fast one that’s working hard for you. So show appreciation when good work is done.
If good work is never done, you need to massively reconsider how you hire. The old adage holds true: Hire slow, fire fast. But assuming you haven’t hired a complete dud, when output is good, let them know. You’ll get more of it!
And show appreciation for loyalty – sticking with you and continuing to work on and on.
It takes almost no time at all to say it…
“Great job, well done.”
“I appreciate what you’ve done”
People are just wired this way, to appreciate appreciation. People work better when they know they are appreciated.
(I’ll show you further tips on exactly the best way to do this in just a minute…)
And conversely, people internally fume and boil when their hard work goes undervalued and under-appreciated – and their work and output suffers accordingly.
I have a good friend, Greg, who has a really good job working in a Media Software company, plays Bass guitar in my rock band, great life, generally very happy…
But he gets really hot under the collar if someone doesn’t say thank you for something he has done if he has consciously gone above and beyond the call of duty, done something out of the ordinary for that person. I call it his “Disregard Button”. We could as easily call it his “Taken For Granted Button”. This button gets hit when his effort and work is disregarded – ignored.
It is his ‘hot button’ – and he fumes – when someone hits it by not saying thank you.
Greg is not alone. There are plenty of other people just like him in this way… about 7 BILLION people, in fact. We all respond in a similar way.
For instance, he organised a gig, a band night for someone (no names) which we played at, recently…
He set up the whole event, booked the venue, arranged the place, time, drinks bar, who had to be there, what they needed to do – the whole 9 yards. We weren’t getting paid – it was a favor.
When the person for whom Greg organised the event failed to say thank you, afterwards and still not within a week, Greg was spitting feathers, getting fully het up that all his work was not appreciated. He had to do some other work project with this person afterwards, and it was everything Greg could do to pull his professionalism forward to make himself do a good job – because every ounce of his being was saying “Screw him, he doesn’t appreciate you – just do a crappy job of it”.
Exactly the same rules of engagement applies when you’re dealing with your outsource team. They’re people, just far away.
You wouldn’t treat your neighbor with contempt or disrespect – so why do some people think it would be OK to treat someone else like that?
Just because they are thousands of miles away, or just because they live in a poorer economy than you? Usually, that is why this sometimes happens. And I’m not saying you do this or would do this. I’m sure, if your savvy enough to educate yourself with your outsourcing skills right here, then your wise enough to treat people better.
It makes sense all round…
- You’ll be a better human, and
- You’ll get better results.
Let’s take point 1 first.
You’ll be a better human
Whatever your religious persuasion, pretty much all wisdoms, religions, philosophies and beliefs state that you are a better person if you treat people well and with respect.
“Worship God and … do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, the poor, the neighbor who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet)… Verily, God does not like such as are proud and boastful.” (Quran 4:36).
“Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” Buddhist Scriptures, Udana-Varga 5:18
“Love thy neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these” – The Bible, Mark, 12:31.
Back in biblical times, the distance between you and your ‘neighbour’ was quite small. You could throw a sandal and it might land in their backyard.
The same is true enough today, but the scope of the concept of ‘neighbour’ has grown. We are in a global economy. ‘Neighbor’ now includes our friends across the sea. We get our coffee from Columbia, our kids toys from China, our medical records are handled by a team in the Philippines and our cars (or at least certain parts of them) are made in India or Japan (including Ford, Chrysler and all others).
So ‘love’ (appreciate) thy global neighbor.
Please excuse the religion tangent there. It is Sunday as I am writing this, so maybe I am feeling a little ‘clean’. Either way, the point is you’re generally considered a better person for looking after your people. And you will feel better for it.
In having an argument and ‘winning’, usually the spiteful joy is short lived – “Hah! I screwed him over!” – “Hah! I proved him wrong”. You quickly fall back into a bitter anger inside yourself, re-running the argument in your head and thinking of the vicious points you made, and how they had hurt you – and probably re-convincing yourself that you were justified in arguing ‘mean’. You feel worse for it. You get all boiled up again, ready for the fight. Not feeling calm and content.
By comparison, think of the last time you were kind, when you did something selfless, simply because you knew it was the right thing to do. I’ll bet you a week’s wages/income that you felt good for a long time after.
So looking after your outsource team is good for you and your soul and just makes you feel good inside – that you’re a better person.
Moving on to point 2…
Well, we’ll look at point 2, and exactly how you get better results with appreciation, in part 2.
I’ll also show you the 4-step process for perfect appreciation and exactly how to do it
Plus, I’ll also outline the cultural differences you need to know about and how this affects your team