Showing appreciation is what creates a team and builds camaraderie. People usually feel more connected and motivated when their teammates and their superior consistently express appreciation. They are also likely to reciprocate and contribute to creating an environment of appreciation where everyone benefits.
The side effects of showing appreciation:
Your employees will be happier. When employees feel valued, they will feel happier and want to be at work. When your employees want to be at work your team dynamics change positively impacting the environment in your office.
You engage your employees. Employees that feel appreciated and confident in their abilities will want to do more. They will want to contribute in a valuable way. This type of work environment breeds innovation and productivity.
Your mood will improve. Many studies have reviewed the effects of positivity on mood. When focusing on the positive in your employees and saying those things to them out loud can have a big effect on your mood.
You build trust. Paul J. Zak, Director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University who wrote Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High Performance Companies, says, “The neuroscience shows that recognition has the largest effect on trust when it occurs immediately after a goal has been met, when it comes from peers, and when it’s tangible, unexpected, personal, and public.” According to Zak, it can also inspire others to aim for excellence.
Your employees won’t want to leave. Constantly feeling valued and appreciated gives your employees a positive association with their place of work. It makes it a safe place to come to and a place they want to be. It can also help them to feel more satisfied in their job.
Ways to make appreciation a daily habit:
Add it to your daily to do list for each person you need show appreciation to.
Keep appreciation notecards at your desk where you can readily access them to write a note of appreciation to someone. Do it each time you think of something you want to show appreciation for.
Leave a note (even if it’s on a post-it) on an employee’s desk at the end of the day about something you appreciate from that day, so they will find it the next morning. Keep your stack of post-its where you will see them before you leave for the night.
If you have a whiteboard, write each employee’s name on the whiteboard. After you give appreciation to an employee, cross their name off the list.
Words are powerful. Written words of appreciation have a rippling effect. They are a gift that keeps giving. People tend to keep notes of encouragement and appreciation and re-read them at future dates. “Encouragement is the oxygen of the soul”–George Matthew Adams
If offering words of appreciation is a challenge for you, does not come naturally, we recommend engaging an accountability partner. Just like any new habit, when you commit to and take daily action, in a few months you will have developed your “show appreciation” leadership muscle. As with any muscle group (or skill), you will want to keep it “in shape” by continuing your efforts in communicating appreciation to others. Remember to extend appreciation beyond your direct team. Appreciation to colleagues and your supervisor, owner and even board members is important.
You may never know the impact your words of appreciation and encouragement have on others.
Encourage and appreciate generously!