Appreciation at Workplace

"As leaders we need to understand that appreciation and recognition is a human need that is common across the world, irrespective of age, gender, geographical location or any other factor." Tushar Patil, Partner, ATCS Inc


Today, a primary parameter that defines the success of an organization is not only their work environment but also the work culture. If monetary gains were the only criteria to measure an employee’s work satisfaction, then there would be no attrition and all high paying companies would be spinning profits year after year. Thus, to assume that an employee spends a major chunk of her day only so that he can pay his bills would be fallacious.

Corporate drudgery is increasingly being rejected by organizations. An organization that has hard task masters as leaders who only appreciate their subordinates’ efforts in an appraisal or in a mega-scale award event will have many demotivated employees and as a consequence, high attrition rates. Over the years there has been a paradigm shift from reprimanding employees for their mistakes to appreciating their work skills, strengths and dedication towards their work more frequently.

The current generation of employees are looking for an environment where their presence and skills add value to the company. As leaders we need to understand that appreciation and recognition is a human need that is common across the world, irrespective of age, gender, geographical location or any other factor. For instance, a child always looks for ways to get appreciation from her teacher, parents or friends. As this child grows up, the same child would seek appreciation from her organization that would mean, from her colleagues, manager, boss or leader. The underlying need remains the same!

It is a cause-effect relationship, wherein if an employee is appreciated, she would feel valued and motivated, this in turn would drive her to work harder and accept new challenges that may come her way. Overall, the employee would not only become more productive but will also enjoy coming to work and respect her role in the organization. Every appreciation reinforces an employee’s thought process that she is valued in the organization. Over time this creates a sense of responsibility towards her role in the organization.

A pronounced outcome of this positive approach is that it has the power to pull up average performers in an organization. A top performer may remain motivated because of the rewards and recognition that may come her way annually, but an average performer has higher chances of slipping down the ladder because of lack of recognition and motivation. If a leader has the ability to identify the strengths of such employees and is able to frequently appreciate the “small wins” at work, she would be able to create a sense of value and motivation in the employees. Frequent appreciations motivate a large chunk of employees and thus help the overall organization environment stay upbeat and full of positivity.

Appreciation at work has a trickle-down effect that sets a precedent of a more positive and open work culture. This in the long run helps in creating a strong pipeline of leaders who would understand the value of appreciation at work. What may start today as an effort only by the leaders will become a value embedded in all the employees of the organization in the near future. Also, in the long run, people who will seek to be a part of the organization would be those who seek a work culture that appreciates and values its employees.

As leaders we must remember that a small gesture like a “thank you” or a thumbs can go a long way. It is the prerogative of the leaders and the HR of the organization to identify multiple opportunities to appreciate employees. These could be, verbal appreciation after successful completion of a task, appreciation letter, appreciation during team meetings, informal team outings, recommendation for career enhancing programs, opportunity to represent the company and many more.

An open and a positive environment would any day be more successful than a strict and confining work space. A positive approach to work in employees not only instills motivation but also a sense of responsibility towards their role as well as their company. As leaders it should be our aim to create a work atmosphere that makes the employees love coming to work every day. It is this small change in the DNA of the organization culture that can bring about a holistic drift in the attitude of the employees towards the organization. Undoubtedly, making employees feel valued today is important and the onus of it lies on the top rung and Human Resources of the organization.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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