When Appreciation Isn’t Appreciated
There is a movement toward a kinder, gentler corporate environment that focuses on appreciation of the contributions of employees. I think it’s a great idea that’s time has come.
When companies recognize that their employees are their greatest asset, and treat them accordingly, less time and money gets spent on employee turnover. It also creates a work environment that is conducive to creativity and best personal contribution.
When companies recognize that their employees are their greatest asset, and treat them accordingly, less time and money gets spent on employee turnover.
Regular evaluations are a great way to let employees know how they’re doing. Evaluations can help negate the stress of uncertain job security. Without all the “wonder how I’m doing” or “are they happy with me” that is a part of a non-interactive management style, employees can relax and innovate. Even an evaluation that points out shortcomings is better than no evaluation at all. The employees can expect that if there is a problem with their performance, they’ll be made aware of it and be given the opportunity to turn things around instead of being let go without warning. Best practices would, of course, include appreciation and recognition of what is going right as part of the same evaluation, with tips of how to get even better.
Appreciation and recognition are key factors in creating a safe feeling and productive workplace. People will often stay loyal to a company that appreciates them and makes them feel necessary, over a company that pays better but doesn’t validate or appreciate their contributions. Taking this “human need” into account is just good business and companies that do it well are rewarded with loyalty and great contribution.
There is also a risk involved in “appreciating” people, however. That risk is doing it in an in-genuine way.
In-genuine praise is using the carrot and making it feel more like the stick. People can tell the difference between sincere praise and when it’s being given with other intentions. Having been on the receiving end of insincere praise, I can tell you it makes me feel more like I need a shower than validated.
People will often stay loyal to a company that appreciates them and makes them feel necessary, over a company that pays better but doesn’t validate or appreciate their contributions.
Insincere praise is praise given to inspire someone to do more because it profits you more. It has nothing to do with validating the other person. It’s more about stroking people in order to improve the bottom line. Any praise given in a self-serving spirit will always come back to bite the giver.
Insincerity of all types, breeds suspicion, lack of trust, and bitterness. It feels like being given a caramel dipped onion and leaves about the same taste in your mouth. In my opinion, insincere praise is worse than no praise at all because it feels like a condescending pat on the head that assumes the stupidity of the receiver not to know the difference. It ultimately comes off more like mocking than a validating.
The move toward a kinder and gentler work place is a great idea. I don’t believe there’s a person alive that doesn’t thrive in a nurturing environment where they feel important to the over all mission of the company. I applaud all efforts to help corporations see the benefits of such an environment. I also hope that they make sincerity part of the overall messaging. Without that element, things could get worse before they get better.
Have you ever received insincere praise? How did it effect your relationship with the giver?
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