in Leadership

Building Engaged Teams with Power of Appreciation

Appreciation is a fuel that helps others move forward in direction of their goals, yet we often see that managers take others/their work for granted thinking, “So what if they’re doing it – they’re paid to do just that.” When organizations establish 1:1 link between outcomes with pay, they breed mediocrity because people will also reciprocate by doing minimum that is required to get that paycheck.

They forget that people work for reasons beyond pay. They want work that challenges them. They want to contribute meaningfully and make a difference. They want to grow and learn. They want a ‘connection’ with organization’s vision, values and their own peers. When they are striving hard and run out of fuel, they need someone to pat their back and validate their direction. They seek acceptance.

In a tough business environment, managers need to be even more aware about focusing on this very important aspect – recognition beyond pay. Intentional appreciation is one of the tools to achieve that. It is equally crucial for business leaders to build a culture of appreciation.

Here’s why appreciation is important:

  1. Appreciation fosters ‘self-esteem’ of people. It affirms their worth and value to make them more credible.
  2. Appreciation motivates like nothing else. Simple things like thank you notes/cards can go a long way in keeping the team energized.
  3. Appreciation shows that we (the managers) are human. It brings out strong emotions and establishes connection faster than anything else.

The act of appreciating has to be a genuine one. It has to go beyond the usual “Great Job!” and point out specific skills/actions that made a difference. It has to transfer positive energy! Appreciating others also sets precedence on behaviors you value. You will get more of what you appreciate.

So, here’s a critical question: In your family, within your friend circle, at work place and with your customers, when did you last offer a heartfelt genuine appreciation? If you did, what did you experience?

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