Many leaders pride themselves on having an open, transparent relationship with their team members. Yet, when we ask them whether they know how each member of their team likes to be appreciated, we often get a puzzled look in response.
The shift to remote work in 2020 has altered your employees work experience in many ways. According to research, a lack of appreciation is a casualty of the work-from-home environment.
In a recent study, more than half of respondents who are working remotely said they have not felt much gratitude from their boss since they stopped commuting, although 70% of that same survey group say they are working harder than ever before. Most of these employees (94%) affirmed that receiving gratitude is a motivator for their daily work, but almost half (46%) did not feel that they are recognized for their contributions.
“Treat employees like they make a difference, and they will.“ – Jim Goodnight
Harvard Business Review confirms that “the most impactful driver of employee engagement is recognition.” What does effective appreciation look like? It’s as unique as the person you are appreciating!
Some interesting data on age and gender shows how appreciation is different for different people (so don’t make assumptions, always ask!):
- Employees ages 18-29 were most likely to prefer both written and spoken thanks (43%).
- Almost half (45.5%) of employees ages 45-60, and employees age 60 and over (44.7%) preferred verbal expressions of thanks.
- Men showed more preference for being thanked in front of others (44.6%) than women (31.9%).
If you have had SmartStart conversations with your employees, you already know how they prefer to be recognized…pull out your notes and use them! And if you don’t have that information, ask them (you’ll find helpful questions on the 3rd page of the conversation template).
Don’t delay, ask each of your team members, “how do you like to be appreciated or recognized?”
“Research indicates that workers have three prime needs: Interesting work, recognition for doing a good job, and being let in on things that are going on in the company.” – Zig Ziglar