10 reasons to show appreciation daily
Tear drops. They weren’t something we expected. And, quite frankly, they weren’t something the two of us knew how to handle. But, there they were. They appeared in one-on-one conversations. They arrived in phone conversations. And they even showed up in emails.
Of course, crying wasn’t a goal we set out to achieve when we launched our latest book. However, that’s what we got—people sharing heart-warming and heart-wrenching stories about moments in their lives and careers where someone recognized them for a unique talent, ability, or trait.
There’s no question people agree with us that this world, and the corporate world, need more appreciation. But one comment we also heard made us stop and take notice. “I wish I would get more recognition at work,” Rosario, a mid-level manager told us. “My boss pretty much ignores me and my entire team. We complain about him all the time.”
While Rosario’s boss did legitimately sound like a jerk, she was missing a huge opportunity, and all the benefits she could be getting by showing appreciation instead of waiting to be appreciated.
Here are ten benefits of sharing your appreciation.
1. Your mindset changes. It’s not natural for many of us to actively look for the great work, brilliant ideas, and extra effort given by our coworkers and teams. That’s probably due to the fact that when we start our careers we’re simply focused on looking out for ourselves. But when you change your mindset to look for the good instead of the bad in the people around you, you begin to notice just how fantastic they are.
2. Your mood improves. Psychologists have long touted how our mood and daily outlooks change when we focus on positive things rather than negative. In fact, our friend Michael “Dr. Woody” Woodward, PhD suggests that simply removing negative words from your vocabulary can have a tremendous effect on your mood. Imagine the impact using positive words to appreciate another person could have on your mood.
3. You engage at a higher level. While the whole corporate world is frantically trying to figure out how to engage employees, not many of us are asking how to further increase our own engagement. We should. A recent study shows that when employees (at any level) give recognition, their engagement score increases by 26%. That’s a sizable increase considering how easy and enjoyable it is to recognize someone at the office.
4. Your ability to innovate improves. While you may not see your role as an innovator, your leaders are trying to figure out how to get you to bring your brilliance to work — to improve a product or process, discover ways to cut expenses, and generate new ideas. Again, research shows that employees (at any level) who recognize their team members experience a 33% increase in innovation.
5. You build trust in relationships. Even the neuroscientists are proving that recognition builds trust. According to Paul J. Zak, professor at Claremont Graduate University, “The neuroscience shows that recognition has the largest effect on trust when it occurs immediately after a goal has been met, when it comes from peers, and when it’s tangible, unexpected, personal, and public.”
6. You’ll actually want to stay longer. While it would make logical sense that those of us who feel appreciated stay with an organization longer, research from a global study shows we stay quite a bit longer. In fact, companies that that recognize their people for a years of service anniversary keep employees an average of two years longer than companies that don’t. And while that’s impressive, as you celebrate the service anniversaries of teammates you build a bond as if they’re your family.
7. You increase your effectiveness. Does giving recognition have a direct impact on results? You better believe it. Research shows that employees (at any level) who give recognition experience a 22% increase in work results.
8. You smile more…and apparently cry more. Admittedly, the two of us aren’t necessarily role models when it comes to sharing emotion. But we have to say, there’s something intrinsically nice, and good, about recognition and appreciation that just screams, “it’s the right thing to do.” People bring their heart and souls to work. We’ve seen the emotional impact appreciation has on people — often decades after the recognition moment happened. So give it a try. Appreciate, and you’ll inspire some smiles and tears.
9. You inspire greatness in others. We all would love to be the person who inspires someone else. It turns out it’s not that difficult when you actively give recognition. A study by the O.C. Tanner Institute shows that 88% of employees who receive recognition feel inspired to do great work. Why wouldn’t they? They just got praised for a job well done.
10. You create a story with a future. Whether you’re a manager or an employee, giving recognition tells the recipient, and all of the people witnessing the recognition moment, what kind of work you admire. And, when everyone is clear about what great work looks like to you, they’re likely to produce more of it for you and with you. In fact, they’ll likely even try to do it better than the last time.
Although recognition and appreciation often get talked about from only the recipient’s viewpoint, there are plenty of powerful benefits to the giver as well. Give it a try. You might just inspire someone to greatness.
This post was originally published on Forbes.