Honor the assist and great culture will follow

nice work — thanks for that

Everyday, take the time to close the loop for the people you work with by saying thanks for a job well done. Honor the assist at your company and great culture will follow.

I am not big on sports metaphors, but one that has always resonated with me is honoring the assist.

Watch almost any basketball game and at some point you will see a teammate who just scored point to the guy who passed him the ball as they jog back down the floor to play defense. It’s no big deal, very lightweight, but a simple way to recognize the role that a teammate played in your success. For a great pass you may see high fives etc, but on good teams there is a lot of recognition getting passed back and forth throughout the course of the game.

I see the same thing at companies with great culture — and think honoring the assist can be a great foundation for building a strong/effective culture at your company.

If you are in sales and you close a big deal, send a note to the market development person who warmed up the lead and cc the rest of the market development team. If you are in marketing and the engineering team builds a tool that makes your job easier or surfaces some data that helps you acquire customers cheaper, thank them publicly with an eMail to the team, in a meeting or even a simple in person thank you to the person who helped you, but when she is sitting with the rest of her team.

In any role you are dependent on others to help you do a great job. Taking a moment to celebrate by recognizing the person who made something possible or who supported you in an effort closes the loop for everyone and makes people feel good about playing on your team.

Honor the assist and get the good karma flowing around your office, within and between your teams and great things will happen for your culture and your business.