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You Don’t Appreciate Me! – What does Employee Appreciation mean to you?

You Don’t Appreciate Me - i4T Global

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What does employee appreciation mean to you? Before you can answer that, have you heard a team member ever tell you something along the lines of “I don’t feel appreciated”?

What have you done about it after they express themselves? If it was one of my employees who feel underappreciated then my mind automatically responds with thoughts such as these: 

  • How can he/she feel that way? Of course, I appreciate you, I pay you, don’t I?
  • I tell them all the time they do great work, aren’t they listening?
  • What about the day off I gave them, or the overtime… that counts as appreciation right?- why are they being ungrateful sods!

It’s not that you are not grateful, most of the time the way you choose to communicate about employee appreciation is different from what others may expect from you.

Everyone uses their own language to communicate appreciation and this may lead to employees feeling not appreciated at all!

However, this can be drastically changed, your employees feeling appreciated will help your business succeed. 

So how can you change that? It is not like you can force them to acknowledge your appreciation. But many research and studies can give you some employee appreciation ideas that can help you express yourself better, and make your employee feel appreciated. Let’s talk about it!

Why Show Employee Appreciation?

why show employee appreciation - i4T Global

Appreciation is the currency of success’

Many studies have proven that when leaders show appreciation to their employees, the business flourishes in many ways. 

According to Forbes and Gallap, a business that prioritizes active engagement with their teams to increase wellness and appreciation was able to see such results: 

  • Increase in profitability by 21% 
  • Teams are 4.6 times more likely to perform their best work.
  • Employees will take 41% fewer sick days.
  • And most importantly employees stay with you longer, in return reducing hiring costs. In one of my recent articles Replace or Use Staff Retention Strategies? I addressed how much it costs a business to replace employees every time they leave, which could be costing you tens of thousands of dollars every year.

All of the above results conducted by the study make sense to keep your team actively engaged, while considering their wellness at work. 

When you prioritize active engagement in the workplace, this shows that you appreciate your employees very much, but sometimes they don’t clearly hear it! 

This is something that you must change, let your employees know that you appreciate them. There are many ways that you can show appreciation to your employees, as a business coach I find Gary Chapman’s book about workplace appreciation effective.

There are 5 Ways to show Employee Appreciation

Gary Chapman in his book The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace details the 5 different ways people prefer to receive appreciation, they are:

Ways to show appreciation - i4t Global

1. Acts of Service

As a leader or boss, your actions mean a lot to your employees. For instance, when you see one of your employees staying behind after work hours to complete a big project, you as a boss can stay back with them and help them with the project. 

This action shows that you appreciate them and support them in what they are doing for the business.

2. Quality Time

Another way to show appreciation to your employees is to spend quality time with them outside working hours. Getting to know your employee better is a great way to show them that you appreciate their services to the business. 

You can take them out for coffee and hear more about what is happening in their life. 

3. Words of Affirmation

A simple Thank you goes a long way………

You can make your employee’s day better by just thanking them whenever they do something helpful. This increases workplace morale and shows them you appreciate their efforts.

4. Tangible Gifts

Some people’s appreciation language is through tangible gifts. When words are not the best way you can show your employees you appreciate them, you can always opt to give them gifts that show that you are grateful. 

A simple carton of beers after a big job is a small way to say thank you. 

5. Physical Touch

If you are working in a modern workplace, appreciation can go a long way like giving your employee a pat on the back for a job well done or even shaking their hand to congratulate them for winning a new project. 

Appropriate physical touch is a great way to get personal and bond with your employees. Giving them a high five or a handshake will break the ice between you’ll and show them you appreciate them.

5 ways of showing employee appreciation - i4t Global

If you look closely you will notice that most people have one or two preferred methods of appreciation they prefer. If you use these then they will feel you appreciate them, if not then they don’t – and everyone is different, and that’s okay. 

Appreciating employees - i4T Globa

So how do you know what to do? The key is to Listen and Watch! 

There are two ways where you can be sure of which appreciation method will work. 

  1. If your employees go around praising other people, then their preference is a word of affirmation. 

  2. If they buy gifts or shout drinks for others, then they are more likely to be felt appreciated with tangible gifts. 

Sometimes we assume that we know our employees and appreciate them in our own way, but if you take some time off your normal routines and observe your team for a week, and record what they do, you might be able to try a different way to appreciate them and see what kind of response you get. 

When you prioritize your employee’s well-being and focus on the ways you can appreciate them, you might be surprised by what you see and can achieve!

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