Last week the US celebrated “National Employee Appreciation Day”. I have to smirk a bit for it being handled as a special day since it shows that we – obviously – really need a reminder to appreciate and be grateful for someone or somebody’s work. Don’t you think it should be appreciation day every day, not once a year? And everywhere in the world?
Appreciation is an important contributor to shared meaning and purpose at work.
Creating and maintaining a healthy work environment requires to evaluate the most valuable asset of a company – the employee.
Appreciation and Purpose
Appreciation is a basic need that all of us have. There is no human in the world who feels indifferent towards appreciation or is immune to recognition.
On a personal level our self-worth gets created by how we are growing up and what kind of surroundings we follow through our lives. Our self-image self-image gets embossed by how we are perceived and what we heard and experienced as kids.
Now we are adults, have been growing up in, let’s say, a good family and amicable environment. So, why is it that we are still seeking acknowledgement and appreciation?
Because it shows us that we did something right and lets us feel proud of our achievement, which in turn, feeds our self-worth. And this self-worth makes us grow in repeating the recognition earning behaviours since we all want more food for our soul.
There is nothing wrong with saying that recognition and appreciation lead to more engagement since it stimulates to repeat the things we have earned recognition for.
Appreciation at Work
Work is the place and occupation we are spending most of our waking hours at.
It is natural to want to have validation and acknowledgement in this area of life since a lot of our self-worth comes from the perception of colleagues, and – even more significant – leadership.
It is the leader’s task to get the best out of each team member. That may be through matching job roles, incentives or other motivation.
For achieving commitment, management has to show and express the value of, and the difference, each team member makes – and address it to them individually.
It is the same with individuals as it is with being appreciated as a group of people working for a company. This is why companies seek the positive reviews, and comments online and in-person from the outside world; not only for recommendation, but for the pride of being known as a company of value, maintaining a positive work-environment. When people are appreciated internally and where the outside feels, “hey, these guys are doing something right”.
There is a reason why a person got hired for being part of a team. If this person does her job, why not appreciate their achievement? There is a reason why this position needed to be filled and the employee dedicates her time to get the job done, each and every day.
The achievement of one position is considerably important for reaching a company goal.
It is crucial to appreciate each position in the company and to highlight single successes with gratefulness. It is not an optional feature of leadership; it is inevitable to generate commitment and awareness for what positive results people are working for.
Top leaders show thankfulness and progress through expressing appreciation.
Repeated recognition and acknowledgement make people go the extra mile.
They understand how it feels to be evaluated and acknowledged for achievements and dedicating a part of their life to a job, (hopefully) trying their best.
It is important to put into words and actions that you as a leader appreciate even the small steps along the way to success. Your employees are your most valuable assets and the ones working hard on your company’s goals deserve recognition. Without them, you would not be able to operate a company in the first place.
Expressing appreciation is not only a pat on the shoulder and a “great job”.
It is important to make time for each individual, implement initiatives for activities together, lunch or dinner in the group. It is implementing little thank-you gestures that may be bonuses, anniversary gifts, cards and public recognition within the company, to clients and online. And it is certainly appreciated when one hears some good words and a “Thank You”.
There is no limit to creativity. As long as appreciation and gratitude get spread out.