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Activate Human Capital Group Blog


Rev Up Your Recognition: Create a Culture of Appreciation that Gets Results

Workplace gratitude affects collaboration, motivates team members to go above and beyond in their roles, and increases employee engagement - but it is severely lacking in the modern workplace.

A recent study of gratitude found that people are less likely to express gratitude at work than anywhere else, and it’s harming entire organizations.

The same study also found that 81% of employees would be motivated to work harder if they had a boss who expressed gratitude. Considering that 65% of employees feel that they haven't received any form of recognition within the past year, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that employee appreciation is necessary for productive and sustainable workplace environments.

Here are 5 ways leaders can generate a shared appreciation between management and employees as part of their company culture:

1. Level up your approach to saying: “Good Job”

Praising employees for their achievements and hard work begins with recognizing the unique strengths that they bring to the table and looking for opportunities to express your appreciation of those attributes. Be as specific as possible with your recognition.

Be Better: Instead of saying, “Great work today,” get more granular and say, "The way you handled that angry customer and brought them back to a productive space within 90 seconds was MASTERFUL. Well done." Making praise a regular part of your communication with your team will encourage employees to go above and beyond wherever possible.

2. Get it RIGHT: learn personal preferences

Make meaningful recognition exponentially easier by creating a simple shared document that details employees’ favorite things (candy, sports team, beverage, lunch spot, flower, color, etc) so that recognition becomes easy – not just for leaders but for peers too.

Be Better: When you’ve got a cheat sheet telling you that meaningful recognition looks like a box of Hot Tamales for Suzi, a vanilla latte for Stacey, and a historical fiction novel for Jose, you’ll be able to make a lasting impact with much less effort. Then, when you want to level it up again, try using our Recognition Worksheet – a 2-page quickstart activity for teams to rev up their recognition efforts.

3. Time-block it: It seems lame but it works!

The things we schedule on our calendars are more likely to happen right? So if this is a priority, weave it into your schedule! Developing a recognition routine may seem lame and arbitrary but you can’t argue with the results. TRY IT. Schedule 10-30 minutes a week to tell people by phone, email, handwritten notes, etc how much you appreciate their efforts and contributions.

4. Provide Opportunities for Growth and Development

When you provide resources that set your team members up for success, you send the message that you care about their well-being and are invested in their current and future success. Tailored opportunities for professional development and growth are key to ensuring employees are equipped with opportunities to learn, grow, and avoid burnout.

Bringing gratitude into the workplace starts with fostering a healthy work environment that leaves employees excited to lean into the growth of the organization. Employee appreciation is linked to higher satisfaction rates, job retention, and performance.

Our mission at Activate Human Capital Group is to challenge individuals and organizations to be better versions of themselves through talent optimization. For more information about our offerings or to schedule a discovery call, contact us today.