If you’re like most business owners, one of your number one fears is losing your employees.
What’s ironic is that it doesn’t seem to matter if the employees are even doing a good job. Notice I didn’t even say great job.
It’s not uncommon for employers to settle for average employees and then try to hold on to them forever.
As baffling as it may sound, take a moment to think about your team.
Is there anyone who comes to mind who isn’t pulling their weight and producing awesomeness without continual prodding?
Within this same breath, if you were told to replace them, would you likely go into sheer panic and defend them obsessively?
Most employers think that their employees leave because of pay. Now, a fair wage is essential, but it’s not the most critical thing that makes employees thrive day in and day out. It’s not the reason that employees leave their jobs, even though this is the assumption that I hear most often.
If employees don’t leave because of pay, why do they go?
Employees leave most often because of a lack of meaningful work and appreciation.
Let’s talk about the appreciation piece as this is most prominent.
Here are 3 Myths About Appreciation in the Workplace
- My employees should work hard, because I pay them to work hard. Getting a paycheck is appreciation enough.
- I do appreciate my employees. I tell them all they are doing a good job.
- I can’t afford to appreciate my employees.
The first myth couldn’t be further from the truth. If you’re relying on paying your employees alone, you can bet that you won’t be attracting the top of the workforce. You also won’t even begin to tap into your employees’ potential. If you feel like no one takes the initiative to make the company better, you may be falling victim to this myth – leaving you with average employees and below-average business.
Myth number two is a step above number one.
There is appreciation happening, but it’s not meaningful. For appreciation to be significant, it needs to accomplish a few things.
It needs to be personal. Saying “good job” is not enough. Not only will this not show deep appreciation, but it also won’t encourage a specific action to occur because of the appreciation.
For example, if you like the way that Sue greets the patients and takes time to speak with them, you can show appreciation by saying, “Sue you do a great job with our patients. I appreciate the care that you take in speaking to each of them. Thank you for truly caring.”
With this specific feedback, you can expect that Sue will be even more engaged with patients.
Now, this is not to say that Sue will feel appreciated.
According to Dr. Paul White and Dr. Gary Chapman Authors of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, in a study of North Americans, 65 percent report that they received no recognition or appreciation at their workplace in the last 12 months.
One of the main reasons that people don’t feel appreciated is because it isn’t spoken in their appreciation language.
Speaking in the employees’ appreciation language is the most impactful way to show them appreciation.
The Five Languages of Appreciation
1) Words of Affirmation- Examples include verbal communication, handwritten cards or sticky notes or verbal recognition in front of others.
2) Acts of Service- Doing something kind for this person. Opening a door, offering to help on a project or giving them a hand in whatever they are doing.
3) Quality Time- Taking the time to listen and being fully in the moment truly. Going out to lunch or sharing time doing a favorite activity.
4) Tangible Gifts- The size of the gift isn’t what is essential; it truly is the thought that counts. The more in touch the present is with the person, the better. Anything from coffee, clothes, books, tickets, gift cards, etc. is significant.
5) Physical Touch- In the workplace, this hasn’t been shown ever to be the preferred language, but most people like some physical touch. It could be a handshake, hi-five, or hug. These are all ways that we communicate that we generally like and care for one another.
People often show appreciation in their preferred language, but this isn’t always the case.
For me, I’m words of affirmation gal, and a good pat on the back with a verbal, “Great job on that recent project. I appreciate the care you put into it.” will be enough to have me brimming over with joy and feeling appreciated.
But I love giving gifts, and the more personal, the better.
Each year around Halloween, I gift all of my team a mini pumpkin.
I come in early one day and put one on each desk.
It’s interesting to see the different reactions. Some people thank me, others carve their pumpkin, some take them home, and others set it aside and forgot about it — same thoughtful pumpkin with very different responses.
What’s more, is the same people react almost identical when I gift them a poinsettia at Christmastime. One year, so many people wanted them out of their office that they surrounded the bottom of our Christmas tree, but not all of the employees acted this way. Many took them home, and others made it a focal point in their offices.
Whenever I’m working with office owners, they often assume that appreciation has to cost money, and that’s a big reason why many say that they can show appreciation.
We must acknowledge work anniversaries, birthdays and other special occasions for these employees; otherwise, we risk them not feeling appreciated.
You’re likely catching on now and can see from my holiday gifting that the response isn’t the same for everyone, and that’s why it’s essential to know how people receive appreciation.
The best thing you can do for your team is to invest in discovering your employees’ languages of appreciation. The process is simple, and only a small fee.
Visit mbainventory.com and take the standard test. There is a medical version, but most functional medicine practitioners don’t practice with traditional standards and outdated rules.
Once the test is completed, you can meet with your team and discuss the results.
|Download a Team Appreciation Tracking Template|
Because of the powerful impact this has had in the Freedom Practice Coaching culture, I became certified to teach the Appreciation At Work Languages course. This is a course that we teach to our clients and their teams, so they don’t have to lay awake at night wondering if their employees are going to leave them.
Employees who feel appreciated are not going anywhere, and they generally accomplish the work of two people.
Continue to challenge your team and appreciate them daily.
It’s easy to get started with an appreciation.
Here are a few things you can do today to show appreciation to your employees:
1) Tell two people, in detail, what you appreciate about the work that they are doing.
2) Write a handwritten note and give it to an employee.
3) Bring herbal tea or coffee to the office.
4) Invite an employee to lunch.
5) Offer to help with a big project.
I know that some of you likely think this will feel weird and you’re right. At first, discovering the languages is a little weird, but those who are willing to do it anyways get the lasting benefits. When being appreciated in our style, even if it’s because of this test, we can’t help but feel better doing a job. Don’t delay, and start creating a better workplace.
If you take the test and need a little help getting appreciation put into place, I’d be happy to help coach you through the process.