Showing Appreciation – Leadership by Example

Thank people for their work, Celebrate the wins, show appreciation during failure

“Recognition is largely about behavior. Appreciation focuses on performance plus the employee’s value as a person. Recognition is about improving performance and focuses on what is good for the company. Appreciation emphasizes what is good for the company AND what is good for the person.”

— The Five Languages of Appreciation

Appreciation is a key part of motivation. How it is delivered depends on the individual. How appreciation should be shown depending on the achievement. Appreciation should be a cornerstone of your culture.

When you appreciate and praise others, you satisfy a basic human need. As your colleagues notice that you appreciate their efforts, they’re naturally motivated to do more. The more specific, the better: Tell them what you appreciate, and why.

And most if not all people deserve appreciation, commendation, recognition, respect, or esteem for something. By learning to identify, recognize, and praise those talents, you bring out the best in them. If you are not sure what peoples strengths are Strengths Finder 2.0 has a tool to be able to highlight what people are the strongest at.

The single highest driver of engagement, according to a worldwide study conducted by Towers Watson is whether or not workers feel their managers are genuinely interested in their wellbeing.

“The difference between appreciation and flattery? That is simple. One is sincere and the other insincere. One comes from the heart out; the other from the teeth out. One is unselfish; the other selfish. One is universally admired; the other universally condemned.”
Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

Here is a slide deck I did on Gratitude or saying Thank You:

Thoughts on Appreciation:

  • Know exactly how each member of your team likes to receive appreciation. Yes ask them directly. If they are unsure, use a question set to tease it out
  • Do team members prefer recognition in front of their team, or the wider public or only in private?
  • Keep evolving and growing ways to show appreciation e.g. handwritten note, gift, have more facetime
  • Create a list of each of your reports for what they like e.g. their favorite drink is, they love this cuisine or dish.
  • Work with others to create an agreed list of career events that should be consistency celebrated e.g. promotion, birthdays, having babies, etc

Resources for Appreciation:

Back to the list of traits

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