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9 Techniques Any Leader Can Use to Show Employees Appreciation

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9 Techniques Any Leader Can Use to Show Employees Appreciation

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Here is the reality at work; most employees do not feel appreciated or acknowledged and this was proven in a study by Gallop. As I work with many companies around the country as a trainer and executive coach the lament, I hear most often is from employees who don’t feel their hard work is acknowledged or valued. As Margaret Cousins once said: “Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.”

Here are nine techniques to show employees appreciation and help them feel acknowledged at work.

  1. Thank them. A simple technique is to thank employee verbally for their hard work, or when they perform over and above what is expected. A simple “great job, Rachael!” can go along way for boosting morale. It only takes about fifteen seconds to say thank you.
  2. Thank them in writing. Send them a handwritten thank you note. (Not an email) When you take time out of your busy day to hand write a note it makes a very big impression. I used to do this when I was an executive in corporate America, and people would take the handwritten note I sent and post it on the wall in their office, which told me how important it was to them.
  3. Give small rewards. One of my clients provides ten-dollar gift cards to their managers for them to give to their direct reports whenever they excel in their job performance. It may be for Starbucks or Target, but here is the point- it may only be ten dollars, but the perceived value is much higher.
  4. Give them an opportunity. If an employee is performing at a very high level, give them an opportunity as token of your appreciation. Tell them, “You know Alexis, you have been doing an amazing job. I wanted to show you my appreciation by sending you to the training program you wanted to attend in San Diego.”
  5. Ask them what they want. Meet with employees on a regular and consistent basis, to find out their goals for their career short term, mid-term, and long term. Inform them that as their manager, you want to help them achieve their goals. You are investing in their success, and they will feel you appreciate them.
  6. Send out a group email. When someone has an amazing achievement, send out a group email to everyone on the team and copy key executives. Talk about the achievement and thank the employee for their hard work. This shows not only that you appreciate them, but you are acknowledging them publicly. They also end up getting accolades from their peers.
  7. Assign them to a high-profile project. A great way to show appreciation is to assign someone to a high-profile project as a gesture of confidence in their abilities and talent. This also gives them a chance to have a higher profile in the company. Make sure you tell them you selected them because of their great work and your appreciation of their hard work.
  8. Make praise specific. If you are going to thank team members as a form of appreciation, tell them specifically what it is you appreciate. Don’t say “Great job.” Instead say great job on the Dayton report. I really loved how it was organized and the research was well done. I am proud of you!”
  9. Check in with them. A subtle way to show appreciation is to stop by and casually check in with a team member to see how they are doing. “I just wanted to stop by and see how things are going. Do you need anything?” People appreciate your spending time with them.

When you try these techniques, people will feel more appreciated. As H. Jackson Brown Jr once said, “Don’t forget, a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.”

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