Sunday, August 23, 2009

Upgrade Your Apreciator Factor

Mother Teresa was noted for saying that people have a much greater hunger for love and appreciation than for bread. And that's with over half the world's population living on less than $2.00 a day.

Countless studies show that employees thrive when they feel appreciated at work. That means higher productivity and lower turn-over. And showing appreciation is mostly free.

Lucky for me, my new boss is a good appreciator. He called to check in on my move several times during the past two crazy weeks. (And for part of that time he was on vacation!) When I showed up at my office a few days ago, there was a nice box of office supplies waiting for me. Of course they're there so I can WORK better, but I didn't have to ask someone or go get them myself.

The thing about showing appreciation is that not all gestures are equal in value.

Hand-written notes always trump emails, even if the note is shorter.

Specific comments are better than the generalized "Great job, Helga!"

Specific praise for someone in front of others is better than private praise.

If you praise someone for every step she takes, like they do with stickers and young children sometimes, you inflate the compliment and it loses value.

If you're good at showing appreciation, it's easier for those around you to receive your valuable suggestions for improvement. People are more likely to listen more closely to what you say.

Best of all, showing and feeling appreciation makes you feel better automatically.

I appreciate your reading Mixonian. ;-)