Appreciation is one of the principal motivators for any employee at his or her workplace. Appreciation drives employees to work sincerely and to be more dedicated to their employers.
Research has shown that words of appreciation at workplace is directly connected to job satisfaction and happiness at workplace.
Studies show that more than 70% of workers admit that they get motivated to work with sincerity when their higher authorities express appreciation for the efforts they put in.
What is Appreciation and Why is it Important?
Appreciation is recognition of the magnitude, significance, value, or quality of things or people.
Appreciation is one of the basic human needs. An employee responds to the appreciation that his higher authority expresses by recognizing his good job because it positively confirms that his work is being valued.
When an employee and his work are appreciated, his satisfaction and thus his productivity improves. He gets motivated to maintain the standard or to improve it more. Showing gratitude and employee recognition from employers also plays an important role in retaining workers. Employees get attached to workplaces where ethical climates prevail.
Reward and recognition program, employee appreciation are key success factors even at higher management levels. Performers in an organization must always be appreciated. Positive feedback or appreciation at workplace should always be given to those who contribute positively towards the success of the company.
How Can an Employer Express or Show Appreciation towards his Employees?
Money is not the only reward that expresses appreciation. Many employees would feel more satisfied and happy if their employers treated them unexpectedly with “thank you” notes, gifts, lunches, dinners, or snacks. Many would also love a reward like a company sponsored day out or vacation. Even cost-effective means of appreciation are enough to express that the employees are valued.
Means of No-Cost Appreciation might be:
- Thanking the employee by name
- Involving the employee in decision-making procedures
- Particularly stating the trait or job that is being appreciated
- Offering lucrative career opportunities
Maintaining the Most Valuable Assets by Appreciation, Not by Compensation:
Compensation is Less Important than Appreciation:
Studies show that most employees leave their jobs due to a lack of recognition and appreciation. Compensation or salary is often the less important factor. Thus, it is possible for an employer to create and maintain a workplace where workers feel that they are valued, appreciated, and recognized. Because importance of appreciation is greater than compensation. Profitability will automatically grow.
A Culture of Appreciation Makes Employees Do More:
Appreciated employees value their organizations by doing more, staying longer, assisting each other to do more, and thus contributing to the overall development and growth of their organization.
The employees who comprise a workforce should be the most valued assets of a company and money, power and position should only be small parts of the equation when the objective is to take care of these assets.
A culture of appreciation contributes to a culture of passion, power, and profitability as employees know they are important. Appreciation constitutes a relationship’s vitality and a vital relationship is what produces the best that a company has to offer.
Everyone Needs to Know He is Important:
Every human being needs to know that he is important to other people. Although it is not often spoken, people need to be valued, thought about, and noticed. This need is a present and constant one. Appreciation or recognition becomes meaningless if it is offered too late. Feeling appreciation is not enough. An employer must express and speak appreciation for his valued employees. Employers, leaders, managers, and companies that want people to work for them must understand the importance of appreciation at workplace.
How are Great Companies Held Together?
Appreciation is one of the core values that hold enduring and successful companies together. It is a value that helps a company grow and be powerful.
Employee Appreciation at Work Rules :
- Employees should be treated as though they are the company’s most valued assets. A mere verbal expression is insufficient.
- Communication should be clear, transparent, and regular. When vital information is shared with employees, they are able to participate with commitment by taking on more responsibilities. If each employee or team member is aware of the direction towards which a department or company is heading, he is able to help the company get there.
- An employer gets what he rewards. An employer should be formulating reward programs that would positively influence employees to grow their potentials as powerful workers and committed team members. The company should always be acknowledging the efforts of its workers and offer appropriate rewards.
- The employer should listen to everybody in his company. Active suggestion programs should be created. Such programs encourage employees to share their experiences and ideas, irrespective of whether these suggestions have small or big impact on the company and its clients. Employees should be asked questions and should be encouraged to offer feedback. Workers at all levels should be encouraged to connect to the senior management as this ability is priceless. Employees at every level should get the opportunity and freedom to express their suggestions and disappointments in a constructive and regular manner.
- Once an employer catches an employee doing something great, he should praise the good act as many times as possible.
- The employer or management should pay close attention to their employees’ work environments, making sure that the employees have good working conditions, equipments and furniture.
- Successes should be celebrated generously. Time should be set at regular intervals during a year and on completion of a challenging project or day for celebrating the success of a team or department. Acknowledgment should be offered and gratefulness should be expressed for great job done by competent employees. The secrets of their successes and lessons from their disappointments should be learnt and reviewed.
- Managers should be encouraged to work for their employees and be the kind of leaders that employees love to work for. An able manager is one who commits to develop his team members professionally as well as personally.
- Employees should be encouraged to have fun. Group activities like cultural events and sporting events must be organized or encouraged. Employees can be awarded interesting certificates of excellence that would acknowledge individual achievements. Games and candies awarded now and then can make work fun.
- Employers should remember that employees need to be valued just as customers are. Showering an employee with praise can exceed his expectations, surprise him pleasantly, and bring the best out of him.
Treating Employees Right and Appreciating Them:
Employers wanting to grow their business are going to need efficient and enthusiastic employees. Those needing enthusiastic employees must treat workers right.
A business owner spends a huge amount of money and time finding and training efficient team members. Unfortunately, that investment frequently gets wasted as most owners do not express their appreciation sufficiently. According to studies, lack of sufficient appreciation is the primary reason why employees leave jobs. Irrespective of the salary, bonus structure, or benefits, the simple feeling that hard work is not getting appreciated or recognized drives employees to leave their jobs.
Is Appreciation Simple?
Anyone who thinks appreciation is simple, is wrong. Expressing appreciation as well as receiving it is challenging.
Learning the Skill of Appreciation:
Use Every Scope of Appreciation:
Expressing and receiving sufficient appreciation at work is an essential skill that most employees and managers should exercise more frequently than they already do. Fortunately, the opportunity to appreciate is always present. Whenever an employee does something praiseworthy, tell them how much they are appreciated.
Be Genuine and Personal:
While appreciating, one must be genuine, specific, and enthusiastic. Moreover, the gratitude and appreciation must be delivered personally. Instead of emailing “Well Done!”, the manager should personally go to the deserving employee and express in detail what he liked, how much he liked it, and why he liked it. Such appreciation should not only motivate that employee to continue his good job, but will also enhance his overall productivity.
Appreciation cannot be faked and one should never appreciate mediocrity. This devalues appreciation and makes the employer’s appreciation attempts meaningless and futile.
Make It an Exercise:
Appreciation is an exercise to be practiced. An appreciation exchange program can be organized among the team members. In this program, each member would come prepared with specific messages of appreciation. These kinds of exercises builds morale and motivate employees to work towards receiving appreciation.
Another technique that enhances the feeling of appreciation is by altering the manner in which a team member is corrected or rectified. Nothing offensive should ever be uttered. Instead, a conversation should be started with a positive remark and then the issue in question should be expressed. A positive comment should never be followed by a “but”, as this word diminishes the original compliment. A “but” should always be replaced by an “and”. This enables employees to enjoy the positive feeling and not get de-motivated with what comes after the “but”.
Is there anything called “Over Appreciation”?
Can there be over appreciation? Can over appreciation lead to complacency? The answer is “No”. Nobody stops doing the thing for which he is praised. The behavior or job that is appreciated is continued and recipients of praise also focus on enhanced improvement. There can be nothing such as sufficient or excess appreciation. Moreover, an employer or a manager gets an opportunity to positively influence someone’s mind and life.
Appreciation Strengthens Employee Relationships:
Every employee remembers every instance when they have been recognized at their workplace. Irrespective of whether it is a simple “Good Job” or a dinner treat, every worker loves to be appreciated and valued. Appreciation is essential for retention, motivation, and employee engagement. Appreciation and employee recognition can also build special company culture that strengthens employee relationships.
How Does Gratitude and Workplace Appreciation Bring Positive Effects? How does Appreciation Affect the Psychology of Employees?
Numerous studies have been conducted on the relationship between work engagement and gratitude. A message of gratitude and a word of appreciation drives workers to be more engaged, committed, productive, and successful. Why employees act in this manner can only be explained by analyzing the human brain functions.
Why Does Performance at Workplace Improve with Appreciation?
Appreciation affects the Human Brain:
There are certain areas of the human brain that are positively affected by gratefulness and appreciation. The hypothalamus that controls the fundamental bodily functions like sleeping and eating and dopamine which is the reward neurotransmitter are largely influenced from feelings of gratefulness. Gratitude can have a strong effect on someone’s mind and life as it engages his brain in a positive cycle.
Moreover, these brain boosters can have powerful positive influence in a workplace and in the work-life balance of an employee. A person who is appreciated is less stressed and has improved sleep habits. Appreciation and gratitude increases metabolism and improves the recipient’s overall wellness. This directly influences employee interaction and work results. Employee appreciation not only boosts engagement and performance, but also improves the employees’ health and well-being.
Appreciation Improves Social Interactions:
Furthermore, expressing gratitude or appreciation towards colleagues creates improved social interactions. By implementing appreciation into the culture of a company, employees are more ready to share their positive feelings with others which might comprise assisting colleagues in a project or recognizing and noticing those who have put in extra effort.
The biggest psychological effects of gratitude and appreciation are the positive emotions like happiness that are immediately felt when praise is received. Appreciation creates better self-esteem, cheerful memories, and good feelings. It makes an employee feel more optimistic and more relaxed.
Positive Emotions Creates Unity:
All these positive emotions create an attitude of togetherness and an environment of encouragement in the workplace, which subsequently makes the organization successful. Moreover, the dopamine effect encourages a constant cycle of appreciation, if everyone willingly participates. These emotions create unity and bring the best out of the employees.
An employer, leader, or manager, on understanding the importance of gratitude and appreciation and their direct impact on the workplace, should formulate a positive appreciation plan that would fit the values, culture, and mission of the company and would engage and benefit all employees.
Appreciation at workplace is supposed to be a timely, formal, or informal acknowledgment of an employee’s effort, behavior, or productivity that has supported the goals of the organization and has been outstanding.