How A Culture of Appreciation Develops Engaged and Loyal Employees

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margy b

Do you look forward to going to work? Do you feel valued and appreciated by your employees or employer? If you work by yourself, do you feel seen by others? If you answered, “no” to any of the above, you’re not alone.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 64% of Americans who leave their jobs say they do so because they don’t feel appreciated. Gallup reports that almost 70 percent of people in the United States say they receive no praise or recognition in the workplace.

64% of Americans who leave their jobs say they do so because they don’t feel appreciated

We all want to know that we are valued and appreciated.

When you actively appreciate and take an interest in the qualities, characteristics, and work of the people around you, you develop a culture where people love to work, are fully engaged, and where your customers and clients enjoy doing business with you.

Here’s how:

1. Recognize the benefit of appreciating and acknowledging individuals

Research confirms that individuals who receive regular recognition and praise increase their individual productivity, increase engagement among colleagues, are more likely to stay with the organization, and receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers. Appreciating others can make a difference to your bottom line.

Increase employee productivity by regularly giving recognition and praise

2. Gain an awareness for appreciation

If you’re not in the habit of appreciating people openly, begin by watching for behaviors, attitudes, and work that add value to you or the company.

3. Develop a commitment to appreciate

Make a commitment to express your appreciation. If this is a new habit, it might feel awkward or uncomfortable at first. The reward and benefit, however, of establishing the habit of appreciating others will pay huge dividends in the long-term.

4. Acknowledge specifics

The most meaningful appreciations are specific. What exactly do you appreciate? Details increase the impact and lets the person know clearly what you appreciate. Others may guess correctly how you feel or what you think about them, but they won’t know for sure unless you tell them. You strengthen the message by including specific impacts that the actions or qualities have on you, the team, or the organization.

5. Clarify roles, responsibilities and mission

It’s important for employees to understand their roles and responsibilities. Gaining clarity of organizational and personal goals and expectations help employees know how to meet or exceed expectations. Employees enjoy hearing how their contribution made a difference to the organization’s goals and its success. Employees are more likely to feel included and empowered when they understand the organization’s mission.

6. Follow through on commitments

Following through on commitments builds trust. It also communicates that the other person is important. Reinforce your organization’s values through how you treat each other. Let your employees know that you have their best interest at heart. We tend to support those who treat us well, believe in us, and take an interest in us.

7. Encourage openness

As a manager, recognize that other people have ideas and perspectives that might be useful to hear. When you seek and listen to others’ opinions and feedback, you are communicating that you value their ideas and insights.

8. Take the time to appreciate

We choose where to allocate our attention and energy. Meaningful appreciations don’t take much time to share. Words of appreciation typically can be spoken in less than 30 seconds. However, the value and positive impact of hearing words of appreciation can be huge and long-lasting.

9. Appreciation reinforces positive behavior

What you appreciate gets reinforced. By expressing your appreciation you indirectly communicate what behavior you’d like to continue to see in the future.

What you appreciate gets reinforced

10. Evaluate the effectiveness

Prior to starting your new focus on appreciation in the workplace, you might take stock of your employees’ productivity, your sales and profit, and employee turnover. It would be interesting to re-evaluate them six months later. I’d be curious what the difference will be.

What would you add to this list? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Graphic by dr records

 

Margy Bresslour is the Founder of Moving Messages, a company dedicated to encouraging the expression of appreciation. Moving Messages works with organizations to create a positive and productive culture where employees feel valued and are fully engaged, and where customers and clients love doing business. Margy offers consultation, coaching, and mentoring that develop individuals who thrive, cohesive teams that enjoy working together, and organizations that get rave reviews and improved outcomes.

  • http://twitter.com/PASmithjr Al Smith

    Wow.   Love this Margy.  What a fantastic post and great list.  You have covered the CARE message here. Communicate, Appreciate, Respect, Encourage.

    The important ones for Owners, CEO’s and Management; 

    “Appreciating others can make a difference to your bottom line” and

    “Increase employee productivity by regularly giving recognition and praise”

    So true.  Thanks for this awesome reminder.  I know you CARE.

    Al

  • Lynn Hunsaker

    Excellent advice here. To kick it up a notch for ROI to the company, I’ve found that all of the how-to’s listed in this article can be done within the *context* of customer-focus — absent that context, good things will happen but money’s left on the table unless there’s an over-arching customer-focus theme.  Here’s how we made strides in growing customer-focus and employee engagement together at Applied Materials (semiconductor equipment) and for some of my clients: http://clearaction.biz/blog/accelerate_customer_experience_improvement_recognition/

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  • Mohammed

     Smart post, Life is all about giving , giving needs appreciation even charity you are appreciated by your self (your values)  , and when ,”Gallup reports that almost 70 percent of people in the United States say they receive no praise or recognition in the workplace.”, it dose not mean that the rest (30%) who say they receive recognition, are in a good organizations, in allot of cases recognition goes to the wrong  person ( even he is a climber ), this really more disappointing , and this important point dose not only effects harmfully the organizations, but also the whole nation progress and development  as well , thanks for Cristina and for Margy 

  • alfrieda

    I really enjoyed this article; it is well written and brings valuable advicee.  What you have put here hopefully will be ;read and recognized by business owners, managers and supervisors. I can remember a time when just after every payday I would say, I’m quitting… after next pay day. And then tell myself to apply at another place. It’s good to feel appreciated.

  • http://www.pauljolicoeur.com/ Paul Jolicoeur

    Great stuff Margy, appreciation is so important in each of our relationships. When people have had an impact on our lives, we need to take time to let them know. I just posted a blog today about this, hope you enjoy: http://www.pauljolicoeur.com/the-power-of-showing-appreciation/

  • Bruno Rouffaer Belgium

    Hy Margy,  good elements!!  in my book http://www.lannoocampus.be/no-way-english-version I make also reference to the reasons why today people leave their company,….  DDI and Hay group did great research on that. Yes we need other type of leaders who first understand themselves before they can understand others :)
    enjoy the weekend

    Bruno
    @brouffaer:twitter 

  • Akash Mohindra

    Hi Margy

    Its wonderful to know about your thoughts on appreciating others.We’ve all heard it or said it before, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”. It’s painfully simple: praise is more effective than punishment.
    I am carrying out a project on Employee recognition in my organisation. I would love to know some of the ways of appreciating the employee part from the regular awards. It would help me a great deal.
    Thanks
    Akash

  • Pingback: 3 Steps to Building a Culture of Appreciation | gThankYou! | Celebrating Work()

  • Margy

    I love your enthusiastic response!  You are a wonderful model of CARE-ing!  Thank you for introducing me to Shawn and Switch and Shift.  I’m delighted to know both.

    –Margy

  • Margy

    Thanks for your comment, Lynn and for expanding the focus to customers.  From what I’ve seen, when a culture of appreciation is developed within an organization, the way staff and leadership treat each other from within easily expands to those outside of it as well. When we feel our value, we treat each other with respect.  I look forward to reading what you’ve done at Applied Materials.  Thanks for sharing.  

  • Margy

    Thank you for your kind comment.  I’m touched. I hope you’ve found a work environment that values who you are and what you bring.  I suspect many people can relate to the desire to leave an organization where they don’t feel valued.  Organizations that focus on appreciating employees tend to retain employees longer. 
    –Margy

  • Margy

    I appreciate your comment, Mohammed.  In order for appreciation to be meaningful to the person who receives it, it needs to be authentic and sincere.  I often find it incredible to see how expressions of appreciation have the impact they do beyond the giver and receiver.

  • Margy

    Thanks so much for your comment, Paul. I just read your post. It completely resonates with me. Learning how individual people like to be appreciated has been fascinating to me. It’s interesting to know that we like to receive appreciations differently. Bottom line – we all want to know that we matter and are appreciated for who we are and what we do. I look forward to reading more of your work, Paul.

  • Margy

    Thanks for your comment, Bruno. I look forward to reading your book and learning more about the research from DDI and the Hay Group. I appreciate knowing about these resources. Thanks, Bruno.

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