One of the first lessons that children learn (or should learn!) is the importance of saying “Thank you”. Max DePree said that the first job of a leader is to define reality and the last is to say “Thank You.” Expressing gratitude is such a basic lesson that it amazes me how many adults and leaders have not learned to show genuine appreciation. Yet it is essential for sustained employee engagement.
Managers that recognize when an employee has gone the extra mile, has stayed late to finish a task, or completed a job with excellence need to say, “Thank you.” It costs very little and has incredible impact in making the employee feel more engaged and committed to their job.
People are an organization’s most important resource. It is so important to let them know they are important!
Appreciation is “a sense of feeling valued and involved”. Notice the subjective emphasis here. Employees need to be involved (the influence side of the equation) AND feel that they are vital contributors. We all need to feel significant, to feel respected, and to feel that our efforts matter. In fact, Robinson et al. at the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) claim that appreciation is the most significant factor in employee engagement.
Encarta includes the following in its definition of appreciation:
- a feeling or expression of gratitude
- a favorable opinion of something
- valuing something highly
- a statement of praise
- a full understanding of the meaning and importance of something
- an increase in value, especially over time
Employee appreciation incorporates all of these meanings. It may be worth considering that the value of an employee appreciates the more they are appreciated!
Are you ready to boost your employee engagement? Contact Mark DeVolder and discover the keynotes, training and even virtual workshops he offers to help you and your team thrive in seasons of change.