How to Show Appreciation to your Employees
By Anna Eliatamby, Director of Healthy Leadership CIC and author of the Decency Journey series
Something happens to us when we enter the daily world of work. We almost forget our own humanity and that we are working with human beings. And yet it is this that makes a significant difference to staff – to be treated with dignity, respect, kindness and appreciation.
If we are not appreciative of ourselves, then we will not be civil to others. The first step is to make sure that you are looking after yourself and that you understand and appreciate your positive qualities and use those as your centre. You also need to know and understand your negative aspects and make sure that you are aware and resolve them, so that you have a better balance between your golden and shadow parts.
We should then look at the organisational culture and structure to find out where appreciation of others already exists. And promote and build on that. Look to see what positive and negative behaviours are encouraged by the organisational culture. Ask staff for their opinions and then have discussions with them about what they need to be more considerate of each other. Create an environment of collective accountability that promotes the positive and openly addresses the negative. Allow staff to be honest about errors and let them know that you will support them to learn from mistakes.
Look at your policies and procedures. How do they promote the positive, beyond ensuring compliance? If you have a code of conduct, what do you do to ensure that staff follow it? An organisation spent a whole day, as part of induction, on discussing its values and code of conduct to help all staff (including leaders) understand what was expected of them.
You could bring in a reward and recognition programme, but this must be meaningful and accepted by staff. There are many options, including financial rewards and incentives, such as days off.
Appreciation means a lot to all of us if it is sincere. It is part of our collective duty of care. Isn’t it worth building in more appreciation at work?
Anna Eliatamby, Director of Healthy Leadership CIC