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Appreciation at work – just feel good factor or real business sense?

Think about your own workplace.   In last one month, how many times did you receive genuine appreciation, recognition or praise for your work?  How many times were you criticized or scolded or taken to task during the same period?  In several surveys, employees in many organizations mention that they hardly ever  receive acknowledgement for their efforts and are seldom praised for efforts.

Appreciation at work

One of the deepest human needs is to feel appreciated, to feel that we are “needed” and feel like someone cares.   It is so easy to take subordinates and team members for granted. Due to pressing deadlines and constant need for getting things done, we often forget to acknowledge and appreciate one another.   Often employees complain that only time they feel “wanted” or “needed” and feel like their work matters – is when they go to the boss to ask for a leave, or worse when they submit their resignation.

Praise and recognition are essential to a high performance work place.  Research by Marcial Losada has found that in high performing teams, the ratio of positive to negative feedback is 5.6 to 1, whereas low performing teams have a ratio of 0.36 to 1.  A survey conducted by Glassdoor revealed that 81% of workers were more motivated and worked harder when their boss appreciated them.  53% of the employees said that they would stay longer if they were appreciated by their boss.  Although measuring direct implication of appreciation is difficult, it is obvious that a culture of appreciation increases employee motivation, they tend to work harder and stay longer.

Although many managers now recognize that appreciation is important, many do not know how to do it right or do not practice it on a regular basis.  The first step in this process is to be aware and look for day to day opportunities to praise someone.  Human nature is to look for what is wrong.  We need to overcome this tendency and look for what is right!  To sustain motivation, on an average employee needs to be appreciated once a week.  If you have ten direct reports, it means you have to practice appreciating at least ten times a week.

The second step it to do something to show your appreciation.  The keys to praise are specific, personal, and immediate. It does not make much sense telling an employee – you are doing a great job!  Although it is better than no appreciation, it needs to be specific.  What exactly did the employee do?  The second key is to make your appreciation personal.  A personalized thank you note, a gift certificate to the employee’s favorite restaurant, a pair of movie tickets to her favorite movie – make the appreciation and recognition even more powerful.  The praise needs to be as soon as possible after the behavior is demonstrated by the employee.  Appreciating someone for something they did last week or last month dilutes the value of the appreciation or recognition.

At Outstanding Productivity, we are in the business of improving the performance of your human capital investment. We provide customized solutions to meet your organization’s specific challenges, with complete HR solutions that are intuitive, user-friendly, comprehensive and provide significant and measurable outcomes.  We provide personalized service that can help your organization achieve greater levels of workforce performance and productivity by doing End to End Recruitment with Personality Profiling, Succession Planning, Training and Organization Development as well as Interventions.

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