Employees should receive feedback more often about what they are doing right, than what they are doing wrong. Positive behaviors can be strengthened by being emphasized, which helps to reduce undesirable behavior patterns. If the goal is to fulfill corporate objectives, work environments must be encouraging and nurturing because employees are always expected to perform more with less. Here are some ways employers can show appreciation:
1. Touch base early and often
While regularly taking time to say hello to employees and check in with them might seem like an unnecessary drain on your productivity, these interactions are points of connection for your employees (and for you). They prevent your staff from feeling invisible. A colleague mentioned that simply hearing “Good morning” or “How are you?” from his department manager would have been as meaningful as formal recognition.
2. Give balanced feedback
Employees want to know both what they’re doing well and where they can improve. Feedback to employees is information regarding their performance and also the information they can act on. Feedback must be shared in a manner that is understandable to them and is perceived by them as being provided in a highly respectful manner. Sharing feedback involves skills in effective listening, verbal and non-verbal communication, and working in multicultural environments. You should tailor your levels of encouragement and criticism to each individual, as everyone will react differently.
3. Address growth opportunities
Employees want to know what the future holds for their careers. When managers take time to explicitly discuss growth potential or provide opportunities and “stretch” assignments, employees interpret it as evidence that they’re valued. Conversely, when managers neglect to address people’s development, employees take it as a sign that they are not.
4. Make it a habit
Simply taking a few minutes to tell your employee specifically what you value about their contributions can have a tremendous impact. The range of options is almost limitless. The idea isn’t to create an automatic system for thanking employees, however, it’s more about permitting yourself to express your appreciation in a way that feels natural to you.
The best part of appreciation is that it’s free and doesn’t consume a lot of time. Anyone at any level can offer appreciation. It can be directed toward an employee, a colleague, or a boss. But when leaders get involved in the effort, a culture of appreciation spreads more quickly. Start by expressing more gratitude to those around you and see what happens. You might be surprised at what a big difference the little things can make.