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Columbia Business Monthly

Does your workplace show gratitude year-round?

Feb 05, 2020 11:54AM

By Energage

The winners of the annual South Carolina Top Workplaces contest will be announced in May in Greenville Business Magazine, Columbia Business Monthly and Charleston Business Magazine.

How does your workplace show appreciation? We know that if organizations want to improve motivation, job satisfaction, self-esteem and employee retention, giving and receiving appreciation helps workers be and feel better. It's true not just during the holiday season but all year round.

In the workplace, appreciation is a relatively inexpensive and self-sustaining performance and positivity boost. Who and what you celebrate can tell your employees a lot about the kind of culture you have and the kind of culture you want. 

When frequent and genuine appreciation is modeled every day from the top down, you'll create a culture that people want to be a part of and contribute to in every way. 

Energage research shows that only 64% of employees at average organizations responded positively when asked whether they felt genuinely appreciated at their company. But at Top Workplaces, this can jump above 90%. 

So at your organization, make sure you are doing appreciation right. Consider these pitfalls:

Ensure people are comfortable being appreciated publicly before doing so. Different people define appreciation in different ways. 

Some people falsely believe that infrequency adds value to appreciation. But as long as it's genuine, more appreciation is almost always better. 

Don't allow appreciation to fall through the cracks during stressful times when it is usually most valuable. 

Some people feel nervous or even defensive when appreciated. It's important to make sure people feel safe to accept appreciation. 

Some employee recognition programs can seem inauthentic. Peer-to-peer appreciation and manager appreciation should complement each other.

If you are looking to boost appreciation where you work, consider some quick fixes:

Take every opportunity to give a sincere compliment or a simple "thank you." 

Incorporate meaningful appreciation into team and company meetings. 

Think about the ways that people prefer to be appreciated. If you don't know, ask. 

Consider big picture plans:

Emphasize appreciation in all training sessions. 

Explore various formal praise and recognition strategies to find a fit for your culture. 

Encourage and role model a culture of peer-to-peer appreciation. 

What does appreciation look like? Here are some examples expressed by employees:

"My team and bosses always thank me for the work I do for them. We get acknowledged each week in our team meetings when we start with 'Shout Outs'!" 

"There is recognition in all forms and at all levels within our company, from formal and informal to 1:1 and in groups. It's built into our DNA." 

"The management team acknowledges success and lets you know that they are appreciative of you and your efforts. Whether that is through a verbal 'good job, thanks' or another reward, it's well above what most companies do for their employees."

The winners of the annual South Carolina Top Workplaces contest will be announced in May in Greenville Business Magazine, Columbia Business Monthly and Charleston Business Magazine.