This Friday, March 2, is Employee Appreciation Day. And while it might be nice to have a day designated as Employee Appreciation Day, every day should be Employee Appreciation Day in your office! That’s right. Every day.
Why Appreciation is So Important
In the book, How Full is Your Bucket?, by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton, the authors cite a U.S. Department of Labor Study that found the #1 reason people leave their jobs is because they don’t feel appreciated on a day-to-day basis. But people who do feel appreciated are more likely to be “engaged.” An engaged employee: shows up on time (or early), stays late when needed, smiles, shows enthusiasm, is a great ambassador for the firm and recruits other engaged employees.
On the other hand, people who don’t feel appreciated are more likely to be “actively disengaged” from work. You do not want actively disengaged people working for you. An actively disengaged employee will not only make your life miserable, he’ll tell others that your firm is a horrible place to work.
Show Your Appreciation
So how do you make sure your employees are engaged and not disengaged? It’s really simpler than you may think. Show your genuine appreciation for the work they do. Not just one or two days a year, but every day. Say “thank you” for even the little things. It’s OK – really – and it doesn’t cost you anything.
The Losada Line
Research by psychologist and business consultant, Marcial Losada, and reported in The Happiness Advantage, by Shawn Achor, found that it takes about three positive comments to offset one negative comment. And the very best, most productive teams have a ratio of about 6 to 1.
Get Specific About the Good Stuff
Have you ever noticed that when you’re giving someone constructive criticism, you’re very specific? Yet, when you praise someone it’s usually a very general, “Nice job!” Guess what? Our brains remember the specific, not the general. That’s why we can remember a piece of stinging criticism for years, but have trouble remembering a time when we felt truly appreciated. So get specific with your praise.
Make Appreciation a Daily Habit
If you show your appreciation daily, remember the Losada Line, and get specific with your praise, your employees will show their appreciation by showing up engaged – not disengaged. It won’t cost you a penny, and you’ll create a happier and much more productive office. Like the Beatles said: Money can’t buy you love. And all the money in the world can’t buy an engaged employee.
Click here for a great TED Talk on “The Happy Secret to Better Work,” by Shawn Achor.