This is the second part of an article outlining how to get better outsourcing productivity using genuine appreciation.
So now let’s look at point 2…
You’ll get better results by showing appreciation
If philosophy, ethics or religion aren’t your thing, go for pragmatics.
If you don’t want to show genuine appreciation for the reason that it is the right thing to do, do it because it works…
Now, standing on the other side of the appreciation exchange – think of the last time someone told you of something they genuinely appreciated about you or what you had done. How good did you feel? Were you more inclined to do more of whatever it was they thanked you for?
That’s the pragmatics of gratitude, of appreciation.
People need to feel importance. People crave importance.To feel the opposite – irrelevant, ignored, disregarded, taken for granted – is a horrible feeling. If you felt you were irrelevant and taken for granted, wouldn’t you think that your work was also irrelevant? That your output was unimportant, and hence there was little point in putting much effort into it?
Conversely, when your outsource team get recognition for their work, they feel important. They feel valued.
NOTE: This is not some wishy-washy ‘be nice’ theory. It is simply how people work. They need a feeling of importance in some way. They need recognition that their work is valued and not irrelevant. They get their feeling of importance from knowing they are great at what they do. They are the best at X.
DISCLAIMER: I am a Psychologist by training. It is just how I think – thinking about thinking, how people tick and work. If YOU can start to understand your team and anyone you meet in your business or personal life in this way, it WILL help you – guaranteed.
Once you understand people better, you can help them and lead them to your way of thinking better.
History Says Don’t Cr@p On Your Neighbor’s Doorstep
I was just watching a great report on the BBC about Economics and the work of John Meynard Keynes. One key point the report made was how, after the horrors of World War 1, the Allies heavily ‘crapped’ on their neighbor’s doorstep…
And by doing so, they set up the precursors of one of the most devastating wars ever, World War 2
And this is how…
[fbml_locker]At the treaty of Versailles, the Allies signed an agreement that was to force Germany, the loser of the war, to pay ‘Reparations’ to pay for the cost of the war for everyone. To Keynes highly sharp mind, this was crapping on your neighbor’s doorstep. We’re all connected. Germany was broke after the war, so forcing someone to do something they are simply incapable of doing is going to start the next conflict.
Sure enough, after years of struggle, hyperinflation, suicides and economic disaster in Germany, 14 years later Hitler came to power. And we all know the outcome of that dark period of history.
The only reason that Hitler was able to come to power was because of the terrible destitution in Germany at the time, which he promised to overcome, by uniting Germany as one. So the only reason that Hitler came to power, was ultimately because the Allies squeezed Germany so hard and so harshly after WW1.
If ever there was proof of the pragmatics of being kind and showing appreciation – and the effects of the opposite – this is it.
So if someone – including someone in your outsource team – makes a cock-up – don’t grind their face in it. Its not going to end happily that way.
On the flip-side, workplace surveys show that over 80% of people work for the appreciation of a job well done, as much as for the money. A boss’s “thank you” and “well done” comments cause more to motivate staff to do a good job than simply money alone. Put the 2 together – money reward and appreciation reward – and you’ve got a powerful combination.
So, if only for the gain in output, the improvement in your business, look after your team. One key way you can do this is by showing genuine appreciation for any good work they produce. Say Thank you. Be specific.
Make them feel good. Make them feel important and appreciated. Make them want to produce more good work.
Your Outsource Team & Appreciation
There are going to be some cultural differences between countries, depending on where your outsource workers are based.
For instance, in most Eastern European cultures, such as Romania, Ukraine, Russia etc (from my own experience and by wider experience) ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ tend to be used less frequently. In fact, for many English-speaking people, it can seem a little rude or brusk to begin with (you soon get used to it and accept it as a cultural difference).
For most functions within your online marketing, in fact for anything that can be generally done on a computer or telephone, I strongly recommend you hire people in the Philippines (they are hard working, have great English and a great loyalty and work ethic, plus are usually well trained in IT and related technological skills). If you build your expert team in the Philippines, you should understand the cultural differences there.
Filipino people have a culture of service; not ‘service’ like in the West where we equate it sometimes with being a servant. Filipino people have an in-built drive to serve, to perform and do a good job. This is how they get their feeling of importance. Feeling good from recognition of a job well done.
So it is even more important that you recognize and appreciate them for the good work they produce, as and when they get it right.
Absent With Out Leave
In fact this is the core reason for another phenomenon of outsourcing to the Philippines. Going AWOL. Absent Without Leave. In numerous cases, many people have reported an otherwise good Filipino worker going AWOL – completely going off the grid, totally out of contact, by email, Skype, everything, either for ever or for an extended period of time.
You’re about to find out the root cause of this phenomenon…
9 times of out 10, the reason for a Filipino worker going AWOL is because they feel they have made a grievous error, a big fat mistake, which is just too embarrassing to face up to, and that they have let you down – that they have failed in their service to you.
This is what the opposite of appreciation feels like to Filipinos.
Note that it is purely about whether they felt they had made a terrible mistake – not about whether that actually had, as far as you’re concerned.
I’m going to more fully cover this phenomenon of going AWOL and how to remedy it before it happens, elsewhere in a different section. For now understand this;
If your Filipino staff make a mistake, use the compliment sandwich…
- Tell them where they have previously done it right
- Outline functionally what was wrong, and how to remedy the mistake
- Show appreciation for them in general and specifically, outlining another thing they did right, and how they can do more of it.
This way, your not hounding them and hammering them with their cock-up, making them feel a failure. I’ll outline more on how to avoid this painful (and not uncommon, if you don’t take the right steps) AWOL phenomenon another time.
The Best Thank You
So how should you make the hardest-hitting “Thank you” (if that isn’t a contradiction in terms) ?
You should try to make your appreciation contain as many of these 4 elements as possible.
- Unexpected. Not always possible, but an out-of-the-blue “Thank you” card will surprise and delight.
- Sincerity. Make them know you mean it.
- Specificity. Don’t just say “Thanks”. Say “Thanks for the great web design job. I love how the colors look now” – or whatever makes it clear to them that you are talking directly to them and mean it
- Personal. What things would this person specifically want to be thanked for?
Thanks to Jennifer Miller for her input
So how might this actually look in the real world, with your outsource team?
Well, it shouldn’t be a single event. That would be phoney. It should be regular, repeated. And here is an example, a real-life and recent example from within my own team…
“Thanks Jordan. Good work with the bad backlinks task. You know how much I wanted to get that done quickly, so I really appreciate you and Mechel [his wife who also works with us] getting that done quickly and effectively. I know Hans [his young son] wasn’t feeling so well, so good work in juggling it all and getting it done. Thanks”
Your outsource team are humans. They thrive off appreciation. Keep them focused and driven with appreciation. You will feel better for it, they will feel better for it, they will produce better work because if it – and you will all feel more of a team – a growing, productive team, because of you showing your genuine appreciation.