Employee appreciation is more important than you think. In this article we’re going to explore just how impactful employee appreciation really is. We’ll demonstrate how genuine appreciation can transform a business in many ways. Consequently, you’ll understand how the lack of employee appreciation impacts your bottom line and has the potential to sabotage success.
We’ll begin with research by Workhuman® and Gallup®. Their report reveals that when employee appreciation efforts were doubled (from 1 in 4 to 2 in 4 polled stating they felt appreciated at work) businesses realized a 9% improvement in productivity, a 22% decrease in safety incidents, and a 22% decrease in absenteeism. For larger companies these numbers amount to millions of dollars being added to the bottom line. This study included large US businesses so when a smaller business incorporates this kind of cultural development, it serves to reason even higher percentages of improvements can be experienced in these areas.
Why it Works.
Humans are wired to do better when they feel appreciated. In fact, the feelings generated from appreciation occur when the chemicals in the brain are stimulated by the 5 senses. This article isn’t a science expose, but it helps to understand human behavior to nurture good mental health in the workplace. When genuine praise is given the brain releases dopamine. This creates a feeling of pleasure and the desire for more of it drives the behaviors by which they can repeat the feeling. So, when giving praise be specific and clear so the employee can know how to replicate it.
It’s Not Easy for Everyone
Something so simple should be easy to do but unfortunately, we humans can be complicated creatures at times. We carry around all sorts of baggage making it challenging to communicate praise. If it’s hard for you, here’s some ways you can ensure your issues don’t stand in the way of giving employees the acknowledgement they need to feel good about their work.
Ways to Show Employee Appreciation
Need to improve an environment in which employees bad mouth each other too much? Saying nice things is free, and it goes a long way in creating positive behavior. Create a “caught being nice” contest. Over a determined amount of time, cards are collected when a person is “caught being nice”. Their name is written on a card and put in a fishbowl or a box. The person with the most notes can win a prize or be celebrated at lunch.
Create a “Job Well Done” box in which peer-to-peer or even manager-to-peer praise notes are collected. The note acknowledges something done well. They can be collected and then given to the individual or read aloud at meetings. This is a great way to create team bonding and mutual support.
Create an employee of the day/week/month and celebrate these individuals. Set up a gift program to demonstrate appreciation. It can be as simple as taking an employee to coffee to say thank you or a gift card they can use anywhere.
While praise doesn’t always have to have a monetary reward attached to it, creating an environment in which employees feel appreciated most definitely has the ability to positively impact the bottom line of every business.
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