Tuesday, May 14, 2013

It's Really Not That Hard: Show Some Appreciation

This post is another in my series of how to improve morale (and the bottom line) in your company at little or no cost.

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing.  It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”

When employees don’t feel appreciated by their bosses, they question what they’re doing and why they should care.  They become disengaged and low morale and higher turnover follow.  A Gallup study showed that 70% of employees in American workplaces say they don’t receive praise or recognition⁠1.  According the the U.S. Department of Labor, 64% of people who leave their jobs, do so because they don’t feel appreciated.  Hiring costs have been estimated to be as high as 150% of a person’s salary and that adversely affects the bottom line⁠2.

Employees can love what they do and not love working for you.  Feeling appreciated creates a connection with both the job and the employer, and this creates more engaged employees.  When employees are fully engaged with their job, they take it to the next level.  People thrive when they feel appreciated.  

Appreciation and praise are different for each person; some like it in public, while others like it to be private.  It’s up to the leader to figure out how individuals like to be appreciated.  But, regardless of when and where you praise them, you need to be specific and detailed.  Generalized appreciation quickly loses its meaning because employees feel like you don’t really pay attention to what they do. 

When you show your appreciation, strive for something new and unexpected.  The same old thing gets old.  Surprise them with a gift from time to time rather than at an expected time each year.  Express your appreciation after your employees have gone the extra mile to finish an important project, completed something in a time crunch, or come in under budget.

Be their example and foster a culture of appreciation within your business.  Getting employees to show their appreciation for each other goes a long way in getting them to work together as a team, maximize performance, and gets them committed to the success and growth of the team and business⁠3.

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