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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Nicholson

The Gift of Appreciation



"A person who feels appreciated will always do more than expected because appreciation is one of life's greatest motivators." - Unknown

Today, on National Employee Appreciation Day, we celebrate the invaluable contributions of every employee. An organization's success hinges on engaged and empowered employees. This day serves as a reminder to recognize dedication across all levels, but let’s consider how organizations can leverage employee appreciation year-round.


Is it appreciation? Is it recognition? Is it praise? They are the same. Appreciation, recognition, and praise do wonders for each employee’s heart and your organization’s bottom line. Feelings of appreciation, or lack thereof, can influence an employee’s level of engagement, which in turn can and often does impact productivity, profitability, and work quality, as employee engagement is centered around the connection employees have to their work and their employer. However, appreciation through words or gestures is not frequent for most employees, while performance appraisals come across as formalities, and teambuilders feel forced.  


A Gallup Poll found that 

  • CEO appreciation means the most,

  • Inadequately recognized employees are twice as likely to consider quitting than those recognized regularly and

  • Only one in ten employees receive appreciation for their efforts each week. 


It is time to break out of the box of limited appreciation. Away from the antiquated sentiments that individuals should feel fortunate to have employment, without all of the touchy-feely things because who has time for that? Wrong! I recall a colleague sharing years ago that when she inquired about employee engagement, it was noted that she could “get her loving at home.” Yikes! 


"We are socialized into systems that cause us to confirm and believe our work is connected to how much we can produce." - Tricia Hersey

Appreciation As A Motivator

The average employee works more than 40 hours a week. Tricia Hersey stated in Rest Is Resistance that “we are socialized into systems that cause us to confirm and believe our work is connected to how much we can produce.” While most individuals are not creating widgets, production in any form, from an instructor to a student, office manager, to engineer, content creator, business owner, physician, truck driver, stuntperson, or life coach, can take a toll on the mind, body, and soul because there is humanity, care, and creativity behind the work.


An individual is behind the work. I highlighted the factors that led to the Great Resignation in 2022, most of which center around the same thing. Individuals want and deserve to know that they are seen and their efforts are appreciated, not just during the season of performance evaluations but year-round. This is the foundation of AllProfit HR to create stellar and sustainable cultures of belonging for all. When I launched AllProfit HR, I envisioned a human resources approach that would foster a win-win culture where both the company and individuals benefit. After all, an organization excels only when employees feel engaged and valued. As I always say, everyone associated with the business, in essence, 'profits' or benefits when there is a culture of belonging and genuine appreciation.


Embedding Appreciation into The Employee Life Cycle

Organizations have an opportunity to provide work environments, or cultures, that support workforce talent holistically. As organizations and leaders, appreciation can be a year-long experience, not a moment marked by one day a year or restricted to milestones or holidays. A thoughtful employee experience is priceless, life-changing, and cyclical. An employee experience transforms retention and engagement at all stages. An organizational total rewards strategy promotes employee appreciation through thoughtful benefits beyond compensation. This holistic approach encompasses elements that employees value, including work-life balance, career growth, and recognition. When appreciation is incorporated into the employee life cycle, it becomes a part of a total rewards strategy that aids in attracting, retaining, and engaging top talent as an experience. This is a benefit your organization can not afford to overlook in the guise of appreciative words and gestures of a moment in time.


Attraction 

The employee life cycle begins with attracting and recruiting top talent. Organizations must have effective strategies to attract qualified candidates and create a positive employer brand. This involves showcasing the company culture, values, and opportunities for growth to attract the right talent. Celebrate new talent by sending welcome gifts and notes to top candidates. This establishes your brand as an employee-focused company from the start.

Recruitment

Onboarding

Development and Retention

Off-boarding


Reflect on Intent and Impact

As you celebrate your employees, it is important to understand intent and impact. As leaders, we should not withhold appreciation, nor should we rush it. Expressions of gratitude that are haste, inauthentic, or feel like your leader or colleague is checking a box may come across negatively. The sweet spot is a balance of appreciation aligned with your organization's mission, vision, and values that identify personalized ways to recognize and appreciate employees' hard work and dedication, which fosters a positive work environment and increases productivity, morale, and overall success.


AllProfit HR Is Your Strategic Partner

As you shape initiatives, focus on the "who" more than the "how." Our team offers a suite of solutions to define, evolve, and inspire employee appreciation across any organization. Schedule a complimentary discovery call today to learn more about how AllProfit HR can aid you in investing in your greatest resource and drive sustainable and transformational impact within your organization. Let's celebrate National Employee Appreciation Day by recognizing and appreciating the invaluable contributions of every individual in the workplace.


Share Your Thoughts

Join the conversation on the transformative power of appreciation. Let's reimagine people-centered workplaces where everyone profits - personally and professionally.


What are some tangible, everyday ways organizations and leaders can appreciate employees? How can co-workers appreciate co-workers?


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