One of the biggest reasons people change jobs or commence looking for a new job is that they do not feel appreciated at work. This lack of appreciation is common and it seems some managers are unaware of how to show appreciation.
And in the current climate of shortages of skilled staff and the cost associated with recruiting and training staff, it is a costly exercise to lose a good staff member because they feel unappreciated.
Appreciation is the ability to understand the worth and importance of something. In a workplace, employees who feel appreciated are more likely to be engaged and not resign. Keeping your staff happy, engaged and motivated is a crucial aspect of leadership, management and running a business.
In this article, I am going to share 6 ways you can better show appreciation to your staff.
- Quality Time
Quality time works to show appreciation. You need to be fully present, listen and show empathy when communicating and appreciating your staff. Sharing experiences and quality conversations are important.
You can set up a formal agreement to coach someone in the workplace or agree to mentor them in achieving their goals within the workplace. A coaching or mentoring relationship takes quality time.
Words of affirmation or reassuring words are an easy way to show gratitude and appreciation to team members. Managers will readily point out faults, mistakes and complaints and an affirmation is finding something positive to say to staff. In my view, affirmations or compliments should strongly outweigh complaints or negative feedback.
- Act of Service
There is a saying that action speaks louder than words. So if you plan to show appreciation to your team members, you may want to do it in action. It does not have to be a large commitment on your part. It may simply be helping someone meet a deadline, complete a project, solve a problem and helping them get things done.
- Making Yourself Available
Just being available and letting a staff member know that you are there if they have problems or issues that they need to discuss shows your appreciation for staff. We have heard of Managers having open-door policies and making themselves available. This is more than just saying you have an open-door policy. It is being fully present and providing quality time.
- Offering Professional Development Opportunities
In the current workplace climate, you may not be able to give bonuses or gifts or pay rises, but you should be able to give professional development opportunities. You can show appreciation to the entire team by bringing in a trainer or speaker to give a short lunch and learn session. You can show appreciation to an individual by upskilling them in an area they have shown interest in. A word of caution. Sending someone to a first aid cause because you need a CPR accredited person at work is not necessarily appreciation.
- Allowing Increased Flexibility
I know that hybrid workplaces and work from home has increased in recent times. But you can still provide flexibility in how people work, and in the decisions, they make as long as they continue to complete their task and projects as expected. Increased flexibility can be seen as showing increased trust in that person. Flexibility to think, work differently and try new ideas is also the source of increased innovation and creativity. Flexibility is a great way to show appreciation.
Each team member is unique and does require individualized appreciation. When you can show appreciation towards your employees, it will increase engagement, motivation and organizational loyalty. Appreciation will then indirectly be reflected in your customer service and productivity. Sometimes employees just want to know that what they are doing matters and that they are appreciated by their managers. If your team would benefit from developing skills in feedback, I run a workshop called “Giving And Receiving Feedback”.