In order to create a culture of appreciation at work, employees must be treated as equals, but must also be acknowledged for their dedication, hard work, impact, and unique contributions to the company. Employees feel valued, inspired, and are more productive at work when they feel valued. A culture of appreciation results in happier, more motivated, and more willing employees who are eager to grow within the organization.
Did you know that 4 out of 10 employees feel underappreciated for the work they perform? This is unfortunately the case. In March, Employee Appreciation Day is observed. However, some statistics indicate that the majority of Americans do not feel appreciated, even on this one day out of the entire year. Here are some statistics that will help you understand how underappreciated some employees feel:
- Nearly 90% of the employers interviewed believed that their recent employees had left their previous jobs for higher-paying positions. However, only 12% of them actually left for higher salaries. Most of them left due to feelings of vast underappreciation.
- At their current employers, 65% of employees do not feel recognized.
- Approximately 29% of employees would gladly give up a week’s pay in order to receive some form of recognition from their employers.
- Approximately 40% of employees feel that they are most unappreciated as a result of favoritism among upper management.
- In almost the same proportion of cases, employees feel that a lack of communication from upper management is the primary cause of their feelings of underappreciation.
- 7 out of 10 employees would be more likely to work harder if their superiors noticed them.*
These statistics are staggering. Nevertheless, all of this leads us to conclude that a culture of appreciation is crucial to the long-term and short-term success of any organization.
*Please note: These statistics are brought to you by StudyFinds.org
Fostering A Culture Of Appreciation
The task of fostering a culture of appreciation can be challenging. If appreciation programs are not conducted vigilantly, they can completely derail themselves, leaving employees feeling underappreciated and leaders feeling that they have already performed their duties. When this occurs, leaders feel that nothing further needs to be done, while employees feel that a new job should be sought. Nobody wants to be at the center of this awful feeling, especially not dedicated, hard-working employees who have invested years, perhaps decades, of their lives to work for the same organization. Sadly, this is a common occurrence in both large and small corporations.
In terms of a culture of appreciation, employees and corporate leaders are not on the same page. The organization may not even be in the same chapter or even the same book in some cases. This results in a complete disconnect between employees, leaders, and even the organization as a whole. Besides these problems, there are a number of others. The number of mistakes is endless. The good news is that these mistakes can be avoided if they are anticipated in advance. Here are some of the most common (and maybe some not so common) mistakes you should avoid when fostering a culture of appreciation at work.
What To Avoid
1. A Level Of Appreciation That Is Completely Unauthentic In Nature
Your appreciation can be expressed in a variety of ways. Employees are often moved by a sense of appreciation, but they will often feel worse by unauthentic appreciation, rather than no appreciation at all. This issue can be avoided by ensuring that all forms of appreciation and gratitude are completely authentic, regardless of the level at which they are expressed. T
he level of appreciation you provide your employees will help maintain their positive mindset, which will help increase their productivity, as well as the success of your organization. Ensure that this idea is ingrained in your organization’s leadership at all levels. It is possible that one wrong move will result in your employees feeling less than appreciated and more negatively affected than anything else.
2. Do Not Disregard Important Milestones Of An Employee
In spite of the fact that milestones of an employee can sometimes appear to be a nuisance to the higher-ups in your organization, the employees actually value and prefer them. Reviewing your employees on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis is an important milestone that will provide insight into where they are at in their career.
In this way, employees are able to identify what parts of their job they are performing correctly and what is appreciated. By disregarding these guidelines, you will only cause confusion among your employees. Further, they will feel that their progress is unimportant to your corporate leaders, which will also upset them. Further, this leads to a complete sense of disconnection among your employees since their productivity is either underappreciated or completely unrecognized.
3. Failure To Recognize Employees’ Accomplishments
Employees enjoy feeling appreciated and recognized, especially when something they have done is worthy of immediate recognition by upper management. However, it is often the case that employees’ achievements go completely unnoticed. There are often long periods of time involved in this. This may lead to demotivation and a loss of productivity. Develop a system (if necessary) for maintaining regular contact with current employees. No matter how large or small their accomplishments may be, this will ensure that they are noticed.
4. Do Not Overcompensate
Whenever employees are not recognized for their past accomplishments, it is important not to overcompensate, and instead to try to play “catch up” once you become aware of their accomplishments. The appearance of this will be completely artificial. As soon as you become aware of your employee’s accomplishments, contact them to determine how they would like to be recognized. Provide them with a variety of options rather than shoving random forms of gratitude down their throats. They will appreciate the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process.
5. Poor Performance Should Not Receive Recognition
While it is important to foster a culture of appreciation, rewarding poor types of performance is not the best course of action. Set clear boundaries for what is recognized and rewarded as well as what should not be recognized and rewarded. In the event that poor performance occurs among your employees (and I can assure you, it will), offer constructive criticism with sincerity. In order to increase motivation, suggest potential growth opportunities.
Building a culture of appreciation is not an easy task that can be accomplished overnight. To grow, it takes time, motivation, gratitude and appreciation, as well as constant reinforcement. Cultures of appreciation are built in a variety of ways, but there is always room for improvement by recognizing the most common mistakes your organization can make when fostering your very own.