I play a game with my 10 month old baby Roman where I count down from 3 and then drop a little wooden toy onto the play mat.
The toy bounces around and Roman laughs.
He gets more excited as I build anticipation. Sometimes I'll pause in my countdown or slow down when I'm about to drop the toy.
Leaders can use anticipation in a similar way. Instead of doing 'what's expected', create experiences for your employees that build anticipation.
One idea is to create an employee of the month award or something similar. Create a culture where employees look forward to the announcement.
This is more effective than giving employees a birthday present or a gift at Christmas.
What else do babies love? Surprise!
So at the other end of the spectrum, you can play peek-a-boo with your employees. Surprise them and catch them completely off guard.
Give them a gift, an award, private recognition or public recognition. Make it random and spontaneous to surprise employees.
To sum it up, if you want to treat your employees well, you should treat them like babies (not in every way!).
Use anticipation to create experiences they will look forward to. Use surprise to give them gifts and awards they weren't expecting.
When you do, they'll smile, laugh and shout, 'Again!' at you (just like Roman does).
Do you want more ideas to invest in your employees and build a high-performing team?
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