Appreciate the Individual

by Joe Lavelle on December 12, 2011

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As I was catching up on some blog reading recently, I came across an article about showing appreciation in the workplace that included some amazing statistics.  Did you know that 65% of workers say that they have received no appreciation or recognition in the past twelve months?  How about the fact that only 8% of employees feel that top management cares about them personally?

On his blog Great Leadership, writer and leadership scholar Dan McCarthy published a piece entitled “5 Keys to Effectively Communicating Appreciation in the Workplace” that highlights the lack of appreciation occurring in offices today and the different ways in which this problem can be remedied.

One detail that really stayed with me is the notion that recognition in our workplaces is given more often for longevity of service than any other attribute.  You get a plaque or an extra day of vacation or maybe a gold watch after sticking around for a certain number of years.  Great.  You are applauded for your ability to get to the office for many days strung together.  What about the quality of the work you do once you arrive?

McCarthy suggests that appreciation must be crafted with the individual in mind.  Instead of a “way to go, team” at the end of your next staff meeting, how about putting some real thought into how each person in your office truly will feel that you value them.  Some people love being honored on a stage in front of a crowd of applauding peers, while others prefer a quiet lunch just with the boss or even a simple note of thanks.  Whatever you do, if it is crafted with that person in mind, it is going to mean more and likely have a greater impact on the quality of work to follow.

Do you feel that appreciation is tailored to each person where you work?  What is effective, or not effective, in your opinion in letting people know they are valued?  Let’s work together to change the apparent culture in our professional offices that views appreciation as a disposable afterthought and make it a regular part of our to-do list!

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