Here’s what I think: Nobody ever goes to bed at night feeling over-appreciated. Think about that. Do you? Neither do I. As a leader, this is helpful to know. (As a human with personal relationships, it’s also helpful to know!) Appreciation is a primary employee motivator, as well as a relationship builder. So with appreciation – lavish it on!
In the corporate world, there is a lot of talk about company culture and incentivizing performance. Still, many employees don’t exactly feel over-appreciated. They feel excluded, disconnected, and unhappy at work. They feel worse if their work goes unrecognized. Appreciation keeps your employees engaged, productive, loyal, and happy. Best of all, it’s free! No budget expense here. Sharing gratitude also has a compounding effect. The afterglow of expressing appreciation—of being generous with your praise, or time—can last weeks or even months after the occasion.
No budget expense here. So, with appreciation, lavish it on.
To start, practice engaging people one-on-one with small talk about their personal life. Actively listen and respond with genuine interest. Also, take an interest in how a work project is going for them, or if they are facing roadblocks that you can help clear away, and look for successes that you can compliment them on.
Appreciation is not a one-size-fits-all solution, though, so know your employee. Different people like to be appreciated differently. Consider these options:
- Appreciate their successes publicly in a staff meeting
- Appreciate them privately, and be specific
- Give it to them in writing, in a note, or in the company newsletter
- Tell their families how much you appreciate their support of the employee’s work
- Honor the unique talents each employee brings to the workplace
- People like to hear “I’m proud of you for….”
- Ask for advice and appreciate whatever you get
- Model appreciation and encourage your team to pass it on
It’s easy to assume that employees will be motivated by paychecks and personal passion for their work, but people need just a little bit more. By motivating through appreciation, you’ll find you soon have a happier, more productive work environment. Just try to make them feel over-appreciated. Lavish it on. You haven’t peaked yet!
Get more performance out of your most valuable and expensive business assets – your people. Contact me to find out how.