Showing Appreciation seems pretty simple and not that big a deal, particularly at this time of year. With Thanksgiving just past and the end-of-year looming, let me encourage you to consider upping your game when it comes to building a culture of appreciation at your workplace. Most managers and business owners think they do a pretty good job of this, but only 17% of employees say their manager does this well. In another survey, 79% of those who left their job listed ‘lack of appreciation’ as a contributing factor. and most said they would have stayed longer if they had been shown appreciation. So who’s telling the truth? Maybe both. In “The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace” Drs. Gary Chapman and Paul White explain that what speaks appreciation to one person may not mean anything to another. Sure, we may all acknowledge a heartfelt thank you from a co-worker or our boss, but for some it just doesn’t mean as much as when they jump in and lend a hand. For others, inviting them to discuss organizational plans, or even just grabbing a sandwich together (even if you don’t pay) means more than the thank you.
Learning the ‘language’, or preference of how appreciation gets expressed is an important effort by managers. So how can you do that? Begin by listening and watching. We tend to express appreciation in the same manner that we prefer to receive it so, does your co-worker like to sit and talk at the end of the day? Perhaps their preference is quality time. If you see one of your employees encouraging another, perhaps their language is Words of Encouragement. Maybe your manager likes to give gifts, or your co-worker is always trying to be helpful. Then maybe Gift Giving and Acts of Service are their preferred ways of showing and receiving appreciation. Finally, there is nothing wrong with asking someone what speaks appreciation to them. Maybe its a gift card for one and you lending a hand for another.
Of course, knowing someone’s language of appreciation is just the first step, the next is to actually use this knowledge to effectively and consistently communicate your appreciation. Don’t miss the opportunity. Studies continue to show that those who feel appreciated have higher job satisfaction, and job satisfaction is directly correlated to productivity, customer satisfaction, and profitability. So put your company on the path to improvement, build a culture of appreciation. Start today.
Apprize Solutions can help. We’ve recently launched a new seminar aptly called, Appreciation@Work. Why don’t you check it out and let us help you toward improved profitability and productivity today.