3 Steps to Building a Culture of Appreciation

pay-100337_640Companies where employees are engaged and happy to give extra effort understand the value of building a culture of employee appreciation. Embarking on building a culture of respect, gratitude and appreciation can feel intimidating, but as you’ll learn here, it’s really as easy as one, two, three.

How Datotel Built a Culture of Appreciation                    

In “Building a Culture of Employee Appreciation”, Datotel President David Brown admits that their employee-of-the-month program was the easy way out to try to recognize employees, but it didn’t have the impact the company needed. Amazed that the lackluster recognition program wasn’t working, Brown set out to consciously change the way he approached appreciation and expected it of the management team.

Brown started with making it a priority to regularly engage with employees. He set out to train managers to report examples of good performance by setting aside time during management meetings to discuss it. Brown would then request someone other than a direct manager to personally thank employees for a job well done. Brown led by example through writing thank you notes each week and mailing them to employees’ homes rather than emailing them.  Thanking employees regularly evolved the company culture to one of appreciation and gratitude.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

In SwitchandShift’s “How A Culture of Appreciation Develops Engaged and Loyal Employees,” Margy Bresslour quotes some sobering statistics. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that 64 percent  of Americans leave their jobs because they don’t feel appreciated. Gallup reports that almost 70 percent of people in the U.S. say they don’t receive workplace recognition or praise. That’s a lot of missed opportunities to build engagement with appreciation.

The Power of a Culture of Appreciation

Research by Josh Bersin of Bersin by Deloitte found recognition is more powerful when tied to company values and goals. He also found peer-to-peer recognition and stories to be effective means of appreciation. Liz Jazwiec feels that no guidelines or special criteria or long policies are required to build a culture of appreciation, just simply recognizing desirable behaviors is enough. In her book “Eat That Cookie! Make Workplace Positivity Pay Off…for Individuals, Teams, and Organizations,” she says it’s not rocket science to recognize employees when they perform well or make an extra effort at work. She says simply consistently recognizing the efforts and behaviors you want from employees is all it takes to build a culture of appreciation.

It’s as Easy as 1, 2, 3

If you’re still wondering how to start building a culture of appreciation, just follow these three easy steps:

  1. Start saying thank you to employees and colleagues regularly, in person and in writing.  Lead by example.
  2. Train and expect managers to say thank you to direct and non-direct employees.
  3. Encourage and recognize employees for saying thank you to colleagues and customers.

If you have an established culture and want a comprehensive culture of appreciation, that will take planning, effort and time, but it still starts with a simple “thank you” for good performance. Jazwiec says that the beauty of appreciation is that it encourages repeat performances, whether it’s an employee thanking a boss for support, a manager thanking an employee for extra effort, or an order processing representative thanking a customer for the order. That’s the real value in a culture or appreciation.

For more insights and case studies, take the next step and download our FREE Guide to Workplace Gratitude. Click below to get started.

Culture of Appreciation

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