A 360 Degree Approach to Appreciation at the Workplace
Every nice word or action goes a long way in making someone’s day and a workplace is no exception to this. A typical employee starts the day with a renewed sense of purpose - striking things off task lists or helping others meet theirs, while trying to be better at it than yesterday. But, will this scenario be possible in a place where the employee feels neglected or disregarded?
One needs a positive environment to be able to do their best - and some more than others. Let’s explore how employees respond to appreciation. For starters, they feel valued, which in turn reaffirms their allegiance towards the organisation. This rise in satisfaction with not just the work, but also the workplace helps employees sustain as well as grow. It makes them more receptive towards any feedback or constructive criticism that the leadership team might have.
Is appreciation the leadership team’s responsibility?
Appreciation, in the simplest sense, is about acknowledging an employee’s worth and hence, is always well-received. When the leadership team encourages appreciation, it assures employees that their contributions aren’t sidelined and developing stronger connections with them becomes easier. Research shows that appreciation and gratitude not only boost employee morale, but also their performance at the workplace. Employees are less likely to be stressed, and more enthusiastic about helping others with their work. Together, this makes for a positive workplace, indirectly strengthening interpersonal relations. But what appreciation essentially [and most importantly] does is that it sets up a favourable culture for the workplace. Employees feel a sense of belonging, leading to increased inclusivity amongst them. Which brings us to the question - is employee appreciation an organisation or the leadership team’s responsibility?
Yes, but the responsibility should not be limited to a particular team
Happiness at work depends on factors beyond gratification. Kind words, actions, and just mere acknowledgement of one’s efforts builds trust. Moreover, interpersonal relationships at the workplace get strengthened with this ‘appreciation’ culture. Say for example, a new member has joined your organisation, and sits two desks away from you. You pass them by every day and exchange casual greetings while they are still adjusting to the new surroundings. But a few days later you take the effort of checking in on them - something as simple as asking them how they’re doing. For you, it may be a 5 minute conversation before grabbing your coffee but for them, a comforting gesture which makes their day.
Neither should employee appreciation be limited to one particular day
We’re sure there are many instances where a word of appreciation has gone a long way. And if something as basic and positive as this ensures productivity, then nothing should stop us from doing it more often. Today, many organisations have their own ways of appreciating colleagues. One such idea is ‘Happiness Badges’. Every time an individual wants to appreciate another employee or team member or even their manager, they can simply assign a badge to them with a personalised message. This doesn’t just make appreciation easier, but also more accessible for all. At the same time a top to down approach makes a larger impact when this employee appreciation ‘from and for all’ initiative is in a seeding stage.
Appreciation - A 360 Degree Encouragement Effort
Appreciation at the workplace is impactful only when instilled as a habit amongst all. While the top to down approach makes sense to set up an example, the idea builds as a part of the office culture only when the onus of it lies on every individual. And when the outcome of it is beyond mere productivity at work, then there’s no reason to doubt its credibility.