Surveys suggest that the number one reason people leave their jobs is because they don’t feel appreciated.

So if we want to retain our people we simply show our appreciation – right!  Yes and no… yes, we must show our appreciation for our teams contribution and no, it’s not simple – we don’t show our appreciation in a manner which works for us personally, as individuals. The reality is that what makes one person feel appreciated may not be what makes another feel appreciated.  At work people express and accept appreciation in different ways.

A team member who feels appreciated will enjoy job satisfaction.  The level of job satisfaction has been shown to impact on the level of customer satisfaction and therefore customer retention and connection – this significant flow on effect, the cost of recruitment & training and the productivity benefits are all reasons to more effectively demonstrate your appreciation in the manner which is most valued by each person.

Gary Chapman and Paul White authors of “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace” have developed an inventory for job satisfaction which includes 5 fundamental languages of appreciation.

The 5 languages:

• Words of Affirmation

• Quality Time

• Acts of Service

• Tangible Gift

• Physical Touch

A private conversation, praise in front of others, a written affirmation – the way each language is “spoken”, the timing, the place and who delivers, all impact – as the message is filtered for authenticity by the recipient.  There are so many layers to the art of appreciation.

However, if you do nothing else, have a conversation with your team members and discuss which form of appreciation they most value.  Remember, they know themselves better than we know them and they may just value one language more than we do – so listen and learn and when you step into their shoes, remember to take your shoes off first.

I recommend Chapman and White’s book – their Top 10 Easiest Ways to Express Appreciation to Almost Anyone – can be found here.

3 from the list…

1.  Give a verbal compliment (say thank you)

2.  Write an email (“I just wanted to let you know…”)

3.  Stop by and see how your colleague is doing – spend a few minutes checking in.

At Opening Gates we consider appreciation and how it will promote job satisfaction in your team in our LEADERSHIP by DESIGN and TEAM COLLABORATIVE sessions.  Showing your appreciation in a manner which is most valued by a person creates a strong supportive culture – a real point of difference in the recruitment and retention of great people.

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