First Published: January 30, 2019
Updated Date: February 12, 2020
We all want to be associated with a winner, be it a winning person, a winning team, a worthwhile cause or a successful organization.
We all have sports people, teams, actors or artists that we consider “ours”. When they do well, we bask in their reflected glory.
It’s the same at work - we want to be associated with a worthwhile “winning” organization.
Our greatest reward is receiving acknowledgment that we have contributed to making something meaningful happen.
More than anything else, people want to be valued for a job well done by those they hold in high regard.
As I was reading more about employee appreciation in the workplace, I came across these facts:
With all these overwhelming facts about employee appreciation, I think it’s one of the most impactful things that a leader must do often.
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So, I ask you this.
Have you appreciated the work of others lately?
Has the value of your own work been appreciated?
Here’s a quick test - over the last week, have you:
- Told someone they have done a good job?
- Looked specifically to find someone doing something well?
- Made someone else look good rather than taking the credit yourself?
- Thanked others for your own success?
- Passed on positive comments you have heard about others?
These are simple examples of the things we need to do regularly to acknowledge the good work of others.
More importantly, this will help in building a highly motivated team that drives sustainable results.
You might say, “If it’s that easy, why don’t more people do it?” There are many reasons, but they all fall into two categories – personal and organizational.
On a personal level, many of us are not comfortable giving praise. We may be awkward about it, or perhaps believe that "people are paid to do a job, so why do we have to praise them?"
From an organisational perspective, it may be the culture that is holding us back, or perhaps technology preventing us from valuing the work of others.
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For example, technology has changed the way many of us operate. Email may have replaced personal interaction, so we no longer see what others do well – out of sight is out of mind, so how can we praise good work if we don’t see it?
Here are six ways we can put praise for a job well done back into our working lives.
1. Look for things people do well and acknowledge them for their good work.
Acknowledging your people’s good work need to be a regular basis.
Be in the habit of looking for the good things that people do and recognizing them no matter how simple the task.
This is how you start to build a culture of appreciation.
2. Be a model of acknowledgment – show others it’s OK to give praise.
Some employees in the office feel awkward when giving recognition. There is nothing awkward with recognizing good work.
In fact, the more often it happens, the more natural the culture will develop.
3. Have a conversation with a colleague about how to give praise for work well done.
The more people are bought into giving recognition, the better the foundation of the culture of appreciation will be.
Don’t hesitate to brainstorm with colleagues on how to best recognize employees.
Remember that it’s not all about the money when it comes to making people feel motivated.
You’ll be surprised on the ideas that will flow if money is off the table.
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4. When people have performed above the norm, write them a small thank you note.
There is nothing like a personal note signed by your boss right? The feeling is just overwhelming.
Write a note of gratitude to your team and colleague.
Since a lot of people don’t usually get a handwritten note, the gesture will not only be appreciated but will definitely be memorable.
5. Encourage others to thank one another and pass on stories of good work to your manager.
The more positivity is present in the workplace, the better the culture will be.
Remember the #1 reason why people leave? It’s all about feeling appreciated.
Encourage everyone in your team to be vocal on thanking one another. It will have a positive ripple effect that will be contagious.
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6. Work to create a culture of appreciation – make acknowledgment part of your daily routine.
People always ask me, how often do we need to show our appreciation? Simple, everyday.
It’s not hard to be grateful for people’s efforts and to be vocal about it.
The essential point is that praise must be frequent and given locally (by colleagues and managers). It should not be seen as a corporate initiative or program, but merely “the way we do things around here”.
Conduct the appreciation during Team Huddles and make it a habit with you team. The team will appreciate that you recognize good work in front of an audience.
What’s not been said so far, is that praise must be genuine.
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People in general are very good at spotting insincerity.
The message? When you do praise someone, make sure it’s for the good work they have done and not just for the sake of it.
A final word of warning. Many organizations turn acknowledgment into an event.
They distort it with extrinsic motivators (such as money) and taint it with internal competition.
Pure and simple, giving praise for a job well done is just that – pure and simple.
So, find someone doing something good today and simply tell them what a good job they’ve done!
Employee appreciation is a key ingredient in driving a highly motivated team. Motivation starts with appreciating your team and your colleagues. Make appreciation a habit and it will help improve your personal development and career growth. Building a culture of appreciation starts with you. Start with simple acknowledgements and do it daily. This will help build a strong foundation and will be ingrained in the company’s culture.
About Daisy Casio
Daisy Casio is a Passionate Operations Leader with over 16 years of work experience in various leadership roles. She has ran diverse teams in multiple locations and has built teams from the ground up. She is the Founder of ChampLeaders Blog dedicated to transforming leaders to Champions. She writes about leadership, management, productivity, career tips, team engagement and many more.