Great leadership is not solely responsible for all the achievements within the company or department under you. Worthy leaders know that one important dynamic behind sales figures and growth is a combination of leadership and capable employees.
Appreciation shown by leadership towards employees is to go a step further than to just recognize their good work. When shown, appreciation adds value and boosts the emotional side of your workforce by creating a productive work environment.
The importance of appreciation was shown by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation”. According to Maslow, people are motivated to achieve certain needs of which some are more important than others. Self-esteem, which leads to feelings of self-confidence, worth, and adequacy, is one of them.
Monetary reimbursement in the form of a bonus or pay raise is a form of reward but not of appreciation.
Here are seven no cost, yet effective ways to show employees you appreciate them:
- Thanking them
This is the simplest way to show appreciation. A heartfelt thank you lets the employee understand how valued and appreciated their contribution is. Even someone in a leadership position can spare a few minutes to make a phone call, write a note in person or visit the employee at their office or workstation.
- Public acknowledgment
The value of an extraordinary contribution is best recognized publicly. This leads to a higher level of appreciation and recognition from others as you show both your employees and the entire organization the value that is placed on the achievement. Tip: Check with the employee in advance to ensure they are comfortable with public recognition. Some employees prefer private recognition and staying behind the scenes collaborating.
- Be available
When employees need some of your time to ask for advice or guidance, make yourself available. Your responsibilities require a tight schedule, but by devoting a few precious minutes you make a positive impact and show appreciation.
- Hand out responsibilities
Assign meaningful or challenging tasks or projects to employees. The trust shown by this gesture motivates and boosts employees emotionally.
- Their opinion counts
Leadership and decision making usually go hand in hand. Taking the time to ponder over some of these with a trusted employee will not only show how much you value and appreciate them but they will also offer an objective opinion. There is the added benefit of gaining insight into the employee’s thought process and abilities.
- Have an open mind
Employees do not need to always agree with leadership. Encourage them to approach you when their opinion differs. This is a sure way to reinforce the fact that you place value and appreciation on them as a person and professional.
7. Be a mentor
Mentorship is the most significant way to show employees how interested you are in their development and personal growth. The time spent on them endorses their worth. Leadership is not only about successful financial figures and growth within a company but also in investing time in developing the human dynamic and creating exceptional new leaders to pursue their own career path within the organization.
Maslow, A. H. (1943). A Theory of Human Motivation. Retrieved from Pen State University: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.318.2317&rep=rep1&type=pdf