The Power of Appreciation

How to Make More Money, Keep Employees

Longer, Have Better Relationships and Stay

Married by Showing You Care (Seriously)

What would happen if you took an hour (even 30 minutes) every week to focus exclusively on showing others how much you care?

I took some time to focus on appreciation last week.

It wasn’t a full hour, but in just 20-30 minutes, I was able to:

• Text a message of love and support to a neighbor whose husband is in stage four cancer (RESULT: She texted back a “Thank You” note.)

• Email a friend who missed a group coaching call, sharing notes with her and saying how I’d missed hearing her voice (RESULT: She emailed back and “thank you and I miss you too” note.)

• Email a group coaching participant to encourage her after she candidly expressed a struggle she is working through (RESULT: She sent me the sweetest email that contained no less than EIGHT compliments, including, “I can’t get enough of listening to you speak” and the recommendation to start a podcast!)

• Share an article with my peers about business distractions and how to avoid them (RESULT: One of them liked it so much she asked permission to share it with her list of friends and clients.)

• Text a “good luck – I’m thinking of you!” message to a client who was filming a TV commercial (RESULT: He texted back “Ty”.)

• Email a peer coach to thank her for a significant comment she made that changed my perspective on how I want to market my business (RESULT: She emailed back, “You made my day!”)

• Text my husband to schedule a TV show date and tell him I love him (RESULT: We had a great date!)

Eventually everyone responded.

But that’s not the point, is it?

The point is to uplift and support others…especially the ones who may be so wrapped up in trials and tribulations that they don’t have time or mental space to reply!

Who needs to know you care?

Statistics Reveal Why Care and Appreciation Matters

If you think showing you care doesn’t matter, think again.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor statistics about employees who quit their jobs:

“…individuals that voluntarily leave work cite lack of appreciation as one of the major reasons for leaving. And even though a large majority of employers and supervisors can attest to having shown gratitude to employees that perform well, only about 17 percent of employees report those supervisors do a good job at appreciating them.”(http://smallbusiness.foxbusiness.com/legal-hr/2014/04/03/employee-appreciation-is-vital-to-productivity/)

According to Newsweek magazine on the topic of men who cheat:

“…the majority—48 percent—said that the cheating was about an emotional disconnection. What was causing this emotional disconnection? The No. 1 reason was feeling underappreciated. It was a lack of thoughtful and kind gestures.” (http://www.newsweek.com/men-who-cheat-its-not-about-sex-appreciation-88859)

According to the book The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace citing a 2013 study by Business News Daily about why employees stay:

“More than 80 percent of employees say they’re motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work, and more than half of those surveyed said they would stay longer at their company if they felt more appreciation from their boss.”

Your ability to appreciate others contributes to their happiness and sense of worth at home and at work. The people who feel appreciated are the ones who stick with you over the long haul…both in your personal and professional life.
So what does it take to make sure someone knows you care?

How Can You Show You Care?

To start with, you must understand that recognition and appreciation are not the same. An awards ceremony recognizing many people at once has little impact compared to individualized appreciation.

In order for a person to feel appreciated, you must:

• Make your appreciation specific to the individual

• Appreciate up, down and across your organization, social network and family (everyone needs appreciation—even when they act like they don’t)

• Customize your approach (based on The 5 Languages of Appreciation at Work) to the individuals you appreciate. These include:

o Words of Affirmation—Notice what they did and TELL them how awesome they are and why. (Notice this was my default way of showing others I care about them. I could have done a better job at customizing this.)

o Quality Time— Give the person your focused attention without multitasking. This is my son’s favorite: to run errands alone with me or his dad.

o Acts of Service—Do things to make their life easier. My mom loves it when we help. One year we cleaned out her entire garage. If it were my husband…don’t touch the garage.

o Tangible Gifts—Give something that shows you’ve done your homework. If you gave me a coffee mug for a football team, I would think you were playing a joke, not appreciating me.

o Physical Touch—At work this might be limited to high fives, pats on the back and handshakes. At home or with friends, they may want a hug, a reassuring hand hold, or a touch on the arm.

Every individual has their own language of appreciation—the one that makes them feel most appreciated and significant. The more you can customize your approach to individual preferences, the more meaningful and impactful your efforts will be.

How would showing appreciation change the way people feel about themselves and their relationship with you?

Who Needs Your Care and Appreciation?

Below are some questions to help you get started thinking about who needs your appreciation so you can take action and let them know? As names of people come to mind, ask yourself what their favorite language of appreciation might be. (Get out your pen and paper so you can write down your ideas.)

Immediate family members— Is anyone feeling sad or acting aloof? Has anyone done something helpful (without being asked) that deserves recognition? When was the last time you said “thank you” or “I love you” when it wasn’t expected? Is there some simple act of service that would help someone out?

Distant family members—Do they have a really great, recent picture of you and your family? When was the last time they heard from you? If you have relatives that are aloof (don’t answer their phone or respond to email), how else could you get in touch with them? How can you keep in touch in a meaningful way?

Co-workers or colleagues—Who has really helped you out this year? Have you thanked people for referrals? Have you thanked people for being who they are (i.e., kind, funny, easy to work with)? What small gift of appreciation might be meaningful to them (or at least surprising)?

Vendors—Who shows up on a regular basis to keep your business running? Cleaners? The FedEx or UPS guy? The postal carrier? Your tech support people? How about your webmaster? Have you let them know how much it matters that they show up and do their job without you having to nag them?

Employees—What have they done right this week? What would your business be like without them…if they hadn’t stuck with you this year? What things only happen when your assistant gets them done? (I waited five months for my assistant to come back from Alaska to wash my car. Seriously, some things really don’t happen without her!)

Customers and clients—Who was your bread and butter this year? Who was so easy to work with, you’d take 10 more clients just like them? Who has been best at brining you even more clients through their referrals?

Make Thanksgiving Day the New Appreciation Day

There are so many people who contribute to our lives being healthy, happy and profitable. Keep their contributions flowing by letting them know how and why they matter to you.

List the names of people you appreciate.

What is the best way to show them they matter to you?

Visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/godandbusinesstoday and SHARE your story of what you did to show you care!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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One thought on “The Power of Appreciation

  1. Thanks for this great article. I agree with so many of the ideas here, and it’s true that appreciation can make an impact our business as well as our personal lives. I too have gained perspective from Drs. Chapman & White and their spin on the five love languages. They have written a couple other books. Check out http://www.appreciationatwork.com for more great content.