A little bit of appreciation goes a long way

Photo by Morvanic Lee on Unsplash

Leaders are only as effective as the team they have around them. Of course, that means choosing people wisely. But even if you have a great team, the next challenge is getting them to stick around. Perhaps appreciation plays a bigger part in retaining people than we realise.

Tony* knew that he was fortunate to have a great leadership team. He gave each one of his direct reports his heartfelt appreciation at the end of their strategy session. He recognised them not only for their valuable achievements but also for their unique leadership qualities. In one case, he acknowledged a leader for the difference that her can-do attitude made. He highlighted how another leader had the ability to keep going in the face of disagreement. For another leadership team member, he emphasised the courage it took for her to step outside her comfort zone into a big new role.

It made a huge difference to each team member to be acknowledged for the difference they make. Tony had created a new future for every one of them. A future that called them to be game-changing leaders. They were only too happy to pay forward the appreciation to their respective teams. This simple practice of appreciation helped create a culture where people are valued and want to stick around.

Perhaps people underestimate the benefits of appreciation and that is why it is in short supply at work. In a US survey, 81 percent of respondents said that they’d be willing to work harder for an appreciative boss. 70 percent said they’d feel better about themselves and their efforts if their boss thanked them more regularly. And yet, just 10 percent of survey respondents said that they regularly showed their colleagues gratitude. 

Adam Grant, author of Give and Take, says that, “A sense of appreciation is the single most sustainable motivator at work……your raise in pay feels like your just due, your bonus gets spent, your new title doesn’t sound so important once you have it. But the sense that other people appreciate what you do sticks with you.”

Who could you appreciate?

Best regards, Brian

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