Great leaders show people appreciation in tangible ways

My four grandchildren live interstate, so it has meant that I could not visit them for a few months because of COVID travel restrictions. They are budding artists, so I asked them for some drawings for my study wall. It is hard to describe my joy when their masterpieces turned up in the mail the other day. Their love hearts and rainbows take pride of place on my wall. There was something tangible about their drawings that goes beyond our FaceTime calls, good as they are.

It made me wonder about concrete ways that leaders can appreciate people, particularly while we are working from home. Here are a few examples. A not-for-profit CEO is sending handmade chocolates to everyone in her organisation to say thank you for their outstanding work over the last few months. Another CEO of a statutory authority calls people direct on Friday afternoon to say thank you for something specific they have done. My personal favourite is Doug Conant, who in his nine years as CEO of Campbell Soup, sent thirty thousand individual letters of appreciation to his employees.

Showing your appreciation may be a good way to keep people. Mike Robbins in his book, Focus on the Good Stuff: The Power of Appreciation, says The Department of Labor in the United States asked people: why did they leave their jobs? 64% said they left because they didn’t feel appreciated or valued…much more important than how much money they made or the work they were doing.

🙋 What are some tangible ways that leaders can show appreciation for people? 🙋‍♀️

Best regards, Brian