Do you look forward to going to work? Do you feel valued and appreciated by your employees or employer? If you work by yourself, do you feel seen by others? If you answered, “no” to any of the above, you’re not alone.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 64% of Americans who leave their jobs say they do so because they don’t feel appreciated. Gallup reports that almost 70 percent of people in the United States say they receive no praise or recognition in the workplace.
“64% of Americans who leave their jobs say they do so because they don’t feel appreciated”
We all want to know that we are valued and appreciated.
When you actively appreciate and take an interest in the qualities, characteristics, and work of the people around you, you develop a culture where people love to work, are fully engaged, and where your customers and clients enjoy doing business with you.
1. Recognize the benefit of appreciating and acknowledging individuals
Research confirms that individuals who receive regular recognition and praise increase their individual productivity, increase engagement among colleagues, are more likely to stay with the organization, and receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers. Appreciating others can make a difference to your bottom line.
“Increase employee productivity by regularly giving recognition and praise.”
2. Gain an awareness for appreciation
If you’re not in the habit of appreciating people openly, begin by watching for behaviors, attitudes, and work that add value to you daily leadership actions.
3. Develop a commitment to appreciate
Make a commitment to express your appreciation. If this is a new habit, it might feel awkward or uncomfortable at first. The reward and benefit, however, of establishing the habit of appreciating others will pay huge dividends in the long-term.
4. Acknowledge specifics
The most meaningful appreciations are specific. What exactly do you appreciate? Details increase the impact and lets the person know clearly what you appreciate. Others may guess correctly how you feel or what you think about them, but they won’t know for sure unless you tell them. You strengthen the message by including specific impacts that the actions or qualities have on you, the team, or the organization.
5. Clarify roles, responsibilities and mission
It’s important for employees to understand their roles and responsibilities. Gaining clarity of organizational and personal goals and expectations help employees know how to meet or exceed expectations. Employees enjoy hearing how their contribution made a difference to the organization’s goals and its success. Employees are more likely to feel included and empowered when they understand the organization’s mission.
6. Follow through on commitments
Following through on commitments builds trust. It also communicates that the other person is important. Reinforce your organization’s values through how you treat each other. Let your employees know that you have their best interest at heart. We tend to support those who treat us well, believe in us, and take an interest in us.
7. Encourage openness
As a manager, recognize that other people have ideas and perspectives that might be useful to hear. When you seek and listen to others’ opinions and feedback, you are communicating that you value their ideas and insights.
8. Take the time to appreciate
We choose where to allocate our attention and energy. Meaningful appreciations don’t take much time to share. Words of appreciation typically can be spoken in less than 30 seconds. However, the value and positive impact of hearing words of appreciation can be huge and long-lasting.
9. Appreciation reinforces positive behavior
What you appreciate gets reinforced. By expressing your appreciation you indirectly communicate what behavior you’d like to continue to see in the future.
“What you appreciate gets reinforced.”
10. Evaluate the effectiveness
Prior to starting your new focus on appreciation in the workplace, you might take stock of your employees’ productivity, your sales and profit, and employee turnover. It would be interesting to re-evaluate them six months later. I’d be curious what the difference will be.
What would you add to this list? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
About the Author
Margy Bresslour is the Founder and CEO of Moving Messages, a company dedicated to encouraging the expression of appreciation to people who make a difference to you and/or your company. Moving Messages works with organizations to develop loyal customers, clients, donors, volunteers, and fully engaged employees. Margy offers consultation, coaching, and mentoring to create a positive and productive organizational culture where teams enjoy working together, organizations get rave reviews, and everyone experiences improved outcomes. She writes a blog on the impact of appreciation that shares inspiring stories, research, and tips and strategies focused on appreciation. Moving Messages also creates, designs, and produces custom pop-up greeting cards that have sincere messages of appreciation. www.moving-messages.com