According to David Novak’s research and article in Harvard Business Review in May of 2016:

Only 82 percent of employed Americans don’t feel their supervisors recognize them enough for their contributions. 

Sadly, this metric (and feeling) hasn’t improved very much at all in corporate America since then.  However, that doesn’t mean we can’t change the game with how set out to encourage those we lead.


Encouraging others has been, is, and will continue to be one of the biggest drivers in your ability to help people on your teams feel comfortable in their own skin, in their role, and on your team. Making them feel comfortable with your encouragement will ignite levels of productivity you never thought possible.  

People will stand a little taller, they’ll participate more and step up their game to give you their best. For some, the change will be instant. Others will take a little more time. Stay the course, and watch the difference unfold. 

I’ve chosen three simple, actionable ways for leaders to encourage people. The purpose is to make your teams feel more comfortable and confident in their abilities to step up, lean in, and deliver their best work. 

As a leader, you can encourage through recognition, reminders, and assistance.

  • Recognition.  Recognize people publicly, privately, on voicemail, in text messages, Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram, if the situation presents itself. As with most things in leadership, it’s less about what you do and more about how you make them feel. 
  • Reminders.  Remind people of their successes and the obstacles they’ve overcome. Playing old tape may not work in some contexts, but it’s never a bad move when you genuinely remind people how great they’ve been in the past. This will reinforce the idea of stepping up and leaning into their greatest potential today and tomorrow.
  • Assistance.  Whether it’s for five minutes, five hours, or five days at a time, take the time to help those on your team. Few leadership actions are as encouraging as leaders of teams out in the field, on the floor and in the moments that matter as they help their teams. 

“Be an encourager.  The world has enough critics already.”  

~ Unknown 

Have a great day.

PS – Order my next book, Lead with Hospitality here.

I’ve compiled twenty years’ worth of leadership lessons, stories, and applications for how to lead with hospitality and why it makes a difference that matters for everyone in your life, at work, at home, and in your community.