A culture of genuine appreciation for people makes a huge difference in business.
Everybody likes to feel appreciated.
The key word here is ‘feels’. It’s about the emotional connection when others express their appreciation for us which matters. It is the feelings generated that we end up remembering.
Expressions of appreciation and gratitude bring so many positive benefits for both the person providing appreciation as well as the person receiving it. It is a cost-free, simple way to lift people up and boost morale.
For all of these benefits, how common is it to show appreciation in our organisations? Is appreciative behaviour modelled by senior leaders? How often do we find space and time to remind people how much they matter? And how often do we really mean it?
Sometimes we can all overlook the small, simple acts of appreciation that can make a difference to people.
Every single person has unique value, has talents and gifts that they bring to our organisations everyday. Often they can go unrecognised.
In many situations, the first time people in workplaces feel genuinely appreciated is at the point they leave a business. We acknowledge people at this point, providing ‘wishing you all the best for the future’ cards and write thoughtful, heartfelt comments about how great it was to work with the person, how valued they were as part of our team, and how we will miss them when they’ve gone. We tell them about the difference they made to our lives, and to our business.
I believe appreciation should form part of our every day normal interactions with the people who we work with. It doesn’t need to wait for someone to announce they are leaving. Making appreciation a daily habit can change people’s whole experience at work. By extension, it can change whole lives. Acts of gratitude and appreciation should apply in all aspects of life, not just the workplace.
One of my favourite quotes from Maya Angelou sums this up perfectly.
Maya Angelou said ‘people will forget what you said, what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel’.
I’m sure that is something we can all relate to.