If companies want to retain a productive, motivated workforce, it’s time to show some love.
Employee appreciation is only appreciated when it is authentic and altruistic. Most people have a finely honed ability to sense when someone is genuinely appreciative versus simply going through the motions. When a supervisor is generous with gratitude, praise, and acts of appreciation it should come from an altruistic place. They are giving freely without any expectation of personal gain. When this happens, employee appreciation has a positive contagion which multiplies goodwill, encouragement, and a sense of common purpose to other team members.
I’m reminded of the adage “I don’t care how much you know until I know how much you care.” When employees know they are trusted and valued members of your team, they will be more likely to show up more fully in their work. Experiencing a sense of belonging fosters greater connection to the team, the organization, and the mission. This gratitude-based practice fosters a culture where employees will be more likely to “tend and befriend” by giving and receiving support from other members of the team. When this happens, it creates a fertile ground where ideas, encouragement, and connection are strengthened throughout the organization.
Since 2000, Soaringwords has led hands-on workshops for more than 150,000 professionals at Fortune 50 companies to teach them core skills that strengthen resilience, team communication, productivity, and confidence.
Some of my favorite employee appreciation rituals foster and celebrate individual contributions, and that results in group “wins.” Here at Soaringwords, we have a fun ritual of ringing mini bells when something exceptional happens. This includes whenever someone brings a valuable insight to the table, does something with above-and-beyond excellence, or when we finish a project big or small. Immediately, several people start ringing their bells in a boisterous chorus, acknowledging, and applauding their peer.
At the other end of the spectrum, it’s essential to respect and acknowledge those times when employees are grappling with setbacks, challenges, or trauma in their personal lives. It’s important to be respectful of boundaries while letting employees know that you support them taking the time they need to focus on their health and well-being. A kind word, the ability to listen, and assuring them that their personal situation is the priority is an invaluable gift that relieves pressure, allowing the employee to focus on what’s most important. In these turbulent times when employee studies report that a free-agent nation among individuals means company loyalty might be a thing of the past, investing in your people by showing authentic appreciation and respect will be a valuable perk beyond measure.