How to Engage Your Team Through Affirmation

One of the things many growing organizations have trouble with is alignment and communication – from both a cultural and “business” standpoint. This may be the result of physically distributed teams or simply rapid growth. The larger an organization grows and the more distributed it becomes, the harder it is to make sure that there is a healthy relational dimension in our communication across the organization. Even in a small organization, understanding the importance of relational connection takes communication to the next level.

THE QUICK SUMMARY – Win the Heart by Mark Miller

Employee engagement is shockingly low–but it’s not an employee problem; it’s a leadership problem. Bestselling author Mark Miller says it’s up to leaders to create a workplace where their employees truly want to be – and he reveals four keys to doing it.

Every great company has an engaged workforce, and nurturing a culture of engagement is at the heart of great leadership – employees who really care about their work, their coworkers, and the organization can supercharge a company’s success. But for many years, engagement has been suffering. Gallop reports that 70 percent of employees are not fully engaged on the job. Mark Miller draws on more than forty years of leadership experience to show leaders at all levels how to change the conversation and create real competitive advantage in the process.

In the fourth book in Miller’s High Performance Series, CEO Blake Brown sets out to discover how to create the kind of workplace where everyone feels excited to come to work, passionate about what he or she brings to the company, and energized at the end of the day. It’s a journey that takes him literally all over the world–from Italy to Greece to Green Bay and more. What he discovers from the pages of history is as relevant as the evening news. 

Engagement unleashes untapped potential buried deep within the hearts of your people. An engaged workforce is more creative, more driven, and more enthusiastic about reaching company goals. If you put the lessons in this book to work, your people will never look at work, or their leaders, the same way again.


When your team members are made to feel that they matter, they develop self-confidence and self-esteem, and that translates to positive results. Team members who are not treated as if they mattered perform as if their jobs don’t matter either.

When you recognize, appreciate, and encourage your team members, they will in turn share those affirmations with others, resulting in a better team and organization culture.

Genuine affirmation, from the heart, tends to connect with the heart.

We actually do a lot of things behind the scenes so you can have a consistently amazing experience.

  • It starts with leadership – no organization drifts to greatness.
  • We have to select the right people and be sure they are aligned on what matters most – this is a never-ending challenge, but without it, everything is so much harder. Some things even become impossible without everyone pulling in the same direction.
  • We have to be sure people are fully engaged and focused on execution. If they aren’t engaged, there’s no way we’ll deliver consistently. We want excellence to be the norm, not a random occurrence.

The two-word secret to engagement: “Thank you.” We want every employee to know how much we value his or her energy and effort, so we thank you a lot.

We say thank you when we see an employee doing their work with excellence; we say thank you when we observe someone going above and beyond our already high standards; we say thank you when we see our people living out our core values; we even say thank you for a team member’s contributions at the end of every shift.

Mark Miller, Win the Heart


Do you say “thank you” to your team members often enough – or at all?

Here’s a starter list of 10 ideas to say “thank you” to team members. Use this list as a starter to complete a chart tablet of at least 30 ways to say thank you – and use at least one every day for the next month.

Wall of fame – Create a wall of fame featuring images of team members; be sure to include what they did that you are recognizing them for.

Praise often – Praise your team members quickly – as soon as you notice an action that is praiseworthy.

Give the gift of wellness – Give out passes to a yoga studio or gym. Healthy team members feel better about themselves and add value to the team.

Have fun – Reward your team after the conclusion of a special season or event with a fun outing. It not only says thanks but encourages team participation and bonding.

Sticky notes – The adult version of the affirming lunch note to your child! Leave notes on their desks or work areas, saying thanks and explaining why.

Random gifts – Who doesn’t like surprises? Give team members small gifts with a note saying thanks.

Acknowledge team members in meetings – When team members have a great idea, perform above and beyond the expectations, or something worthy of mentioning – be sure to acknowledge them in front of their peers.

Appreciate personal wins – When a team member achieves a personal milestone in their lives, celebrate with them in your work environment.

Celebrate birthdays – Make their birthday a special day in some way.

Write a note – A personal, handwritten note is always a special gesture. Mail it to your team member’s home, so their family can see it and celebrate too.

It’s your turn!


Part of a weekly series on 27gen, entitled Wednesday Weekly Reader

Regular daily reading of books is an important part of my life. It even extends to my vocation, where as Vision Room Curator for Auxano I am responsible for publishing SUMS Remix, a biweekly book “excerpt” for church leaders. Each Wednesday on 27gen I will be taking a look back at previous issues of SUMS Remix and publishing an excerpt.

>>Purchase SUMS Remix here<<

>> Purchase prior issues of SUMS Remix here<<


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