I have always worked on the basic principle that if you want to boost your team’s performance, the best place to start is by making people feel good about themselves.
For me, the most effective way of doing this is by using what I call TNTs.
TNTs are Tiny Noticeable Things. They are all the little things that we don’t need to do, but when we do do them, they can have a seismic impact on those around us. They may be tiny, but they are highly explosive, and they create the biggest, longest-lasting pictures in people’s minds. They are the difference between a team that’s floundering and a team that’s flying, and they are the difference between a great place to work and a not so great place.
They could be as small as a smile, as tiny as saying “thank you”, or perhaps remembering someone’s first name – possibly a handwritten note of appreciation or maybe a senior manager making teas and coffees for everyone. All little, cost-nothing, often overlooked things, yet they can make a very big difference.
Here are six real differences:
- TNTs are the emotional engagers that keep successful teams connected and that help build a family culture within an organisation. When we take that little extra step for someone else with a TNT gift, it not only makes them feel good, it makes us feel good too. A cocktail of ‘happy chemicals’ gets released in our brain, giving us, as well as the person receiving it, a lovely warm fuzzy feeling deep down inside. It only takes the briefest of interactions for a lasting bond to be formed.
- They show how much we care. Personally, I don’t mind working long hours and doing a tough job, so long as I know that the people around me care, not only about themselves but also about the rest of us in the team. I think an issue here is that a lot of people genuinely do care about those around them, but unless they are able to externally demonstrate just how much they care on the inside with a few occasional TNT actions, it may well be wrongly assumed that they don’t.
- As well as being completely free, TNTs are incredibly simple things that all of us can get behind. The good news is that no one needs to wait for a formal occasion to show gratification or recognition to a fellow team member, anyone can do them, at any time. Spontaneous TNT acts tend to be far more powerful because they come as a complete, out of the blue surprise for the recipient.
- TNTs are contagious. Once people recognise the profound impact they can have and the good feeling they get from doing them, the more they want to do them. Eventually they become so embedded as a positive behaviour within a team’s culture that it becomes difficult for people not to do them. The workplace environment becomes a much happier one and the early morning motivation for everyone to get out of bed and get started tends to drastically increase.
- With mediocre customer service having become the norm and with people’s expectations being so low, there is immense pleasure to be had by proactively looking for opportunities to blow customers away with customer experiences that exceed expectations. When every customer touchpoint becomes seen as an opportunity to create a memorable TNT moment, team member’s days become a lot more fun, time flies by, and what they do for a living no longer feels so much like a job.
- TNTs put smiles on faces, light up rooms and can at times give people a lift that they didn’t even know they needed. “Great people make people feel great” is something I find myself repeatedly saying at conferences that I’m speaking at. If people in your team feel great, the chances are your customers will feel great, and before you know it, your bottom line will look great!
So, if you’re looking to boost your team’s performance, don’t go underestimating the power of the TNTs.
About the author
Adrian Webster is one of the UK’s leading motivational speakers and author of Tiny Noticeable Things: The Secret Weapon to Making a Difference in Business out now, priced £14.99
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