“A person who feels appreciated will always do more than is expected.”
Here’s an exercise for all employers, managers, and supervisors:
Step 1: On a sheet of paper 8.5”x11” or larger, write, type, print, draw or paint the above quote.
Step 2: Repeat phrase until memorized.
Step 3: Display in a highly visible location.
Step 4: Show your staff appreciation and see it become a reality.
Did you know that appreciation (esteem) falls into the second tier of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (just above our need for love and belonging and under ‘self-actualisation’) as a basic human psychological need? We all have a need to feel valued in our relationships and the relative importance of and proportion of time spent at our respective jobs makes our workplace/career one of the most important areas of our lives for the fulfillment of that need. Do you feel appreciated on your job? Do you regularly and openly express your appreciation to the employees you supervise? Managers should keep the above quote in mind when it comes to their interaction and relationship with those in their team since staff appreciation can make a world of difference in the workplace and you don’t need to have a degree in behavioral psychology to know that the positive reinforcement of any behavior leads to continued repetition of that behavior.
It’s not just psychological theorizing either. Research studies and employee surveys have shown time and time again that feeling appreciated is a key driver of employee engagement in the workplace. Employee engagement (not to be confused with the more superficial ‘employee satisfaction’) is the extent to which employees feel passionate and enthusiastic about their jobs, are emotionally committed to the organization and its goals, and put discretionary effort (above and beyond the minimum required) into their work. Does this sound like you or your staff? If it doesn’t then your organization needs a lesson in appreciation.
What makes employees feel appreciated? A fair wage and annual salary increases don’t even scratch the surface. Companies must find creative ways to compensate employees beyond the regular entitlements of compensation, benefits and perks to recognition and reward. Showing regular appreciation for outstanding work is the first step in creating what is considered to be ‘a great work environment’, that is, a corporate culture that
- recognizes good work and behavior with perks and words of encouragement,
- provides a setting where people feel they can be heard and where they are allowed to take ownership of their work,
- makes them feel that they have a real purpose and are a valued member of the team,
- gives them the opportunity to grow personally and career-wise
This scenario describes a workplace where one could expect employee engagement to be high – a place that employees want to come to everyday.
The formula is simple. The impact is proven. Employee engagement is a key driver of organizational performance improvement. In a word – MOTIVATION!