We all like being appreciated and (with the exception of my grumpy neighbor) we all do appreciate others. Unfortunately, we fall far short of excellence when it comes to showing our appreciation.
Recent Department of Labor statistics show that only about 17% of U.S. employees feel appreciated. Let’s face it: we know we should show appreciation but just don’t do it. Whether you are leading a sales team or running a company, you need to show appreciation in a way that matters.
Appreciation programs are not the answer. “Programs” are a dollars and cents solution to the problem and miss the point. Appreciation is from the heart and not the wallet.
Appreciation is love written in small letters. How will you share the love?
Be timely. Ever heard “a day late and a dollar short?” If you are late with your appreciation, it seems more like an afterthought than a real expression.
Be real. Look them in the eye and say it from the heart.
Be consistent. If you are going to build a new habit, you have to be consistent and persistent in creating the change. Anything less is a one-off that quickly gets forgotten.
Use their language. One of the most insightful books written about how people want to hear “the love” is The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It outlines five ways to express and experience love that Chapman calls “love languages”: gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch. The book has been adapted to several contexts, and there is one edition about the five languages of appreciation.
As I work with leaders, they often experience an AHA moment around appreciation and strong team building. What will you do differently to show your appreciation to those around you?