A Note On Appreciation In The Workplace

True or false? A company maintains its most valued assets not by compensation, but by appreciation.

That is absolutely, positively true. Research shows that people leave their jobs because of a lack of appreciation not compensation! IT IS possible for you to create a workplace where people feel they are listened to, recognized and appreciated, and where profitability grows.

Employees value these organizations by staying longer, doing more, helping each other do more and contributing to the growth and development of their company. Money, position and power are one small part of the formula when it comes to taking care of our most valuable assets, the people who comprise our workforce.

Cultures of appreciation contribute to cultures of power, passion and profitability because people know they matter! Appreciation is part of the vitality of relationships and vital relationships are what produce the best that our companies have to offer.

What is appreciation and how can we show it in the workplace?

ap·pre·ci·a·tion     (-prsh-shn) n.
  1. Recognition of the quality, value, significance, or magnitude of people and things.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

We all need to know that we are important in other people's lives. Even though it is often not spoken we need to be noticed, valued and thought about. And we need to know this today, not another time when it might be too late. We need to speak appreciation, rather than feel appreciation for someone. We all want to be the type of company and manager/leader that people want to work for.

What holds great companies together?

Core values hold more successful enduring companies together than anything else. Appreciation is a core value that helps grow and power our companies. People who feel appreciated and people who are earning that appreciation!!!

10 Rules of Appreciation:

  1. Treat people as though they were your most valuable asset, instead of just saying so.
  2. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate….. The sharing of information with employees, makes them able to take on more responsibility and participate on a higher level. If each team member knows where the company or department is heading they can then be expected to help get you there!
  3. You get what you reward. Need we say more. Designing reward programs to influence people to develop their potential as contributing team members and as powerful people. Reward and acknowledge company achievements and personal achievements!
  4. Listen to everyone in your company. Create active suggestion programs encouraging all employees to contribute their ideas and experiences, whether they have a big or small impact on the organization or its customers. Provide an opportunity for employees top answer the following questions what made you mad today?, What took too long? What caused complaints? What was misunderstood? What cost too much? What was wasted? Where is it too complicated? What is just plain silly? What took too many people? The ability of employees at all levels to have contact with senior management is valuable. People at all levels should have the freedom and opportunity to express their disappointments and suggestions in constructive ways regularly.
  5. Catch people doing something right and let them know about it as many times a day as possible.
  6. Pay attention to people's work environments, make sure that people have good equipment, furniture and working conditions.
  7. Celebrate your successes. Set a time at regular intervals during the year and at the end of an especially difficult day to celebrate the achievement of a department. Share acknowledgment and gratefulness of great things done by great people, review and learn the secrets of your successes and the lessons of your disappointments.
  8. Encourage managers to work for their employees, to be the type of managers that employees want to work for because of their commitment to developing their employees personally and professionally.
  9. Have FUN!!!! Organize or encourage the organization of group activities, such as sporting events, cultural events. Humorous certificates of appreciation to acknowledge individual achievements. Give your receptionist petty cash to use for stocking the front desk with yo-yos, candy and toys. Award ABCD above and beyond the call of duty!
  10. Exceed your customers expectations, and remember that your employees are your valued customers too! Surprise people!!!

Paul Cooperstein is CEO of Strategic Intervention Associates, Inc., a Milton-based firm that provides business consulting and innovative solutions to clients throughout the United States. Services range from strategic planning and team building to resolution of legal conflicts. Corporate headquarters are at 107 Hillside Street, Milton, MA 02186. For additional information or a no-obligation assessment of your business, call 617-698-0678, or visit the website at www.strategicintervention.com

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