Retain and Inspire Employees by Showing Appreciation

“The way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.” – Charles Schwab

Did you know that 57 percent of employees are dissatisfied with the level of recognition they receive for doing a good job, and 77 percent would consider leaving their job for not being recognized enough? It seems that Charles Schwab was right that it’s imperative to show appreciation for employees. However, it can be difficult to know how best to express appreciation and gratitude for your employees.  Here are five quick tips to ensure that your employees feel valued every day.

Don’t just hear. Listen.

This distinction is important. Always make sure that you’re not only hearing what your employees and team members tell you but that you’re truly listening and digesting their words. This seems simple, but in fact it can be quite challenging. Human beings only retain about 25 percent of what they hear, so do everything that you can to hone your listening skills. Sound expert Julian Treasure, gave a TED talk in 2011 on this topic and recommends practicing five exercises to improve your “conscious listening,” including spending three minutes a day in silence.

Practice immediate positive reinforcement.

Effective managers and leaders stand out based not only on the type of feedback that they give but also on when they give it. In management and leadership expert Aubrey Daniels’ article “PIC – Positive Immediate Consequence,” Daniels noted that employees increase their positive behavior when they get positive reinforcement immediately. Try to “catch someone doing something right!” Your employees will feel seen, noticed and appreciated right away and work to continue that behavior.

Say ‘thank you.’

This should be easy. In fact this should be a habit that you learned in preschool. However, sometimes it’s easy to take for granted the people you work with and to expect their hard work always. To quickly make those around you feel noticed and appreciated, try working those two simple words back into your vocabulary as much as possible. To add additional impact to your gratitude, call out specific details where their effort or work was appreciated.

Celebrate success.

Has your team hit its quota? Finished an important project? Met a difficult deadline? If so, it’s time to celebrate. Nothing says ‘You’re appreciated’ better than a special celebration highlighting a specific success. Take your team out for lunch, a special outing to mini golf or maybe give them a Starbucks gift card so they can celebrate on their own.

Be creative.

Telling someone that they matter should be fun, so try to get creative with it. If it’s summertime and you have some employees going on vacation; maybe give them some candy with a sand shovel that says “I dig you.” Or leave a random sticky note with a compliment on one of their projects waiting for their return. Pinterest can also be a great resource for fun and crafty ways to say ‘Thank you.’ Let your creativity run wild.

Don’t let complacency rule your workday. Have some fun and think of ways to help the people you spend 40-plus hours a week with feel appreciated and special. In the end it will make work a happier and more pleasant place to be.