Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do! Psalm 90:17b (MSG)
I once worked for a man who ran a ministry that, at the time, I believed was doing a great thing. I worked hard for this person. I gave above and beyond the call of duty. I even went around to family and friends and raised part of my own income through their charitable support. However, I soon felt sucked dry. My motivation withered. All of my efforts seemed to be swept in to a black hole of this person's insatiable ego. Disillusioned and discouraged, I decided to leave after a year.
Now, years later, I try to remember the lessons I learned in that year. As an employer and leader, I am constantly trying to remind myself of the fact that my team members need affirmation. The word "affirm" means to "maintain as true" and to "confirm." I don't want to give false praise. I don't want to blow a bunch of smoke that people know, in their heart, is just empty words. Affirmation needs to ring true to both parties. I want to speak what is both true and encouraging: "You do an important job. You are a valuable member of this team. I couldn't have completed this project without you."
Who is in my sphere of influence? Who can I affirm today?