Employee appreciation is one of the best ways to retain a high-performing team and motivate a more productive workplace. Here’s how to show your employees you appreciate them.
True empathy requires that you step outside your own emotion to view things entirely from the perspective of the other person.
Employees are your organization’s biggest asset. How you, as a leader, demonstrate employee appreciation will directly affect your bottom line. It’s been proven that empathy has a significant impact on productivity.
Emotionally effective leaders make it their business to get to know their team and use empathy to build strong relationships.
Let’s face it: the daily grind can impact your team, leaving them feeling unmotivated and unproductive.
Some days are harder than others for employees to get up and head into work with a smile on their face. It’s much more comfortable when they know the organization; they work for cares about them.
(If you feel like your productivity could use a boost, don’t miss this post)
In particular, their direct supervisor plays a significant role in motivating them to do their very best. It’s vital that you—as a leader—understand the powerful role empathy plays in helping team members be more productive.
What happens when we don’t feel appreciated?
I coach clients regularly who are highly motivated leaders. They work hard, care about their team, and strive to show appreciation and willingness to go the extra mile.
However, I’ve heard many examples of employees feeling demoralized because they believe their hard work and dedication weren’t recognized. It eventually starts to impact their work ethic, so realizing the value of implementing employee appreciation strategies is imperative.
Appreciation is a very human need that we must fulfill.
All human beings need to feel supported—it’s a basic need.
Your team needs to feel appreciated and believe their efforts are making a difference to the organization.
When leaders show their employees they are valued by using empathy, employees (mostly) will go out of their way to accomplish the task at hand.
Practising employee appreciation.
Here are five helpful tips for demonstrating employee appreciation:
- Show your team you care – go out of your way to provide them with evidence that you appreciate them. Offering coffee, lunch, thank you notes, and emails are just a few options that make a difference.
- Tell them often – telling employees you care once or twice is not enough. They need to feel appreciated regularly in a variety of ways.
- Don’t expect perfection; it’s not possible - No one is perfect, so expecting perfection is setting everyone up for failure. When a team member makes an error, handle the situation with respect and compassion. You’ll be surprised how positively this approach will affect the team member’s future performance and overall motivation and send a positive message to others. Instead of perfection, focus on excellence. Here’s how to shift your focus.
- Share employee wins with others – celebrate your team member wins with others (including your boss and staff meetings). The more public praise and recognition employees receive, the more they’ll feel appreciated. It’s the management philosophy: Praise in public and criticize in private.
- Treat them with respect - did you know that only 15 percent of individuals feel respected and valued by their employers? It’s how you make people feel that makes the difference.
When leaders take the time to practice employee appreciation, morale and productivity will soar.
This article was originally published on October 6, 2018, and has been updated.
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