Feeling Appreciated Makes All the Difference

Do you feel appreciated at work? Do you think feeling appreciated at work is important?  Well, the U.S. Navy does!  And, when appreciating employees outwardly is applied, at even the smallest businesses, it can change the workplace and productivity substantially for the better.

The Navy found out about this the hard way. They found out appreciation is important in retaining their troops. Do you know why most people leave the Navy?

  • Low Pay?
  • Long months at sea?
  • Rigorous demands?

Nope.  It is simply because they feel underappreciated at work.  The troops, basically, felt used and abused so too many left the Navy after their first tour. To keep the ranks full, most, if not all, naval officers were trained in the gentle art of appreciation. They now consciously bestow small rewards in the form of compliments and public recognition regularly.

Lack of employee (or troop) retention is very costly and not just to the Navy. Losing trained employees costs businesses tens of billions of dollars a year. So retaining people and keeping them happy is very important. Solid, stable workplaces are very productive and wonderful to be involved with.

Why is showing appreciation so important and effective? These small recognitions, especially when tied to small rewards, show gratitude.  Gratitude is one of the most powerful of the human emotions. Small displays of sincere appreciation provide a natural sense of a job well done, something we all seek and need.

Work related gratitude and rewards can be any of a wide array of things from verbal recognition to a gift certificate or a written commendation and a simple heartfelt, verbal “thanks,” in front of colleagues.

Small rewards have an especially useful place especially when large, long term rewards just aren’t possible.  It is easy to do, as well.  Think in advance just what your rewards could be that you first can give yourself and then think of the ones you can bestow on others. Take care of yourself first, then coworkers and colleagues.  If you are a business owner or manager, start with your employees and team members today.

Follow these easy guidelines. Each reward should have these three qualities:

  • The reward should be appropriate to the goal.

Offering a whoopee cushion for a job well done at the office would not be a good idea.  A compliment, small certificate, or written letter is better in a work environment.

  • The reward should be appropriate to the person.

Offering a chocolate bar to someone trying to lose weight might not be the appropriate choice in a reward. However, a compliment and handshake in front of a team is very effective.

  • The reward should be free or inexpensive.

For yourself, think in terms of a nice, hot bath, massage or walk.  For others, think of a warm compliment in person or over the phone, a handshake or certificate printable on the office printer.

You can even use these strategies for personal relationships, too.  It can solidify both people being on equal footing.  And, in personal matters, humor is very effective. When small rewards are offered in a friendship or marriage, adding a sense of humor can be a plus.

Think in advance what small rewards those in your life would enjoy receiving. A bit of thought or even preparation beforehand for bestowing small rewards for those in your life, both personally and professionally, can be very positive, enjoyable and rewarding for all involved.

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