Appreciation is one of those “soft” topics that tough minded business people, focused on the numbers and growth, don’t tend to appreciate. In selling, I suspect too much of the mindset is, “When the going gets tough, the tough build more pipeline…..”
Yet appreciation is integral to our success–both within our organizations, with our partners, and our customers.
Appreciation has rich dimensions. It is critical in driving employee engagement. Organizations, where people feel they are heard and valued. Where they feel their managers are generally interested in them and their success. Engagement level is directly tied to organizational success and growth.
Demonstrating genuine appreciation through recognition is critical. Recognizing people-not just for the results they produce, but for the work they are doing. Finding people doing something right, recognizing it, building on that drives higher levels of engagement and performance. Recognizing the challenges they face, engaging them in discussions about those, he;ping them consider alternatives to what they are doing is important to them and their performance.
Demonstrating appreciation is not just formal recognition, awards, or public “atta-girls.” It’s investing the time to talk and work with those people. Interestingly, when we demonstrate genuine appreciation, it builds the morale of everyone in the organization, it builds trust, it reinforces the behaviors and values we want in the organization.
And it encourages “above and beyond” efforts. When people, know they are valued and appreciated, when they see their efforts recognized, they tend to go beyond the standard expectations.
While appreciation probably does and should start within our own organizations, with our people, this lays the groundwork in extending appreciation outside the organization. To other functions in the company, to partners, to customers.
In demonstrating our appreciation we engage deeply to have a full understanding of what they face and how they feel about it. Showing appreciation to our customers demonstrates how we care about their success. As within our own organizations, customers seeing how we appreciate them, want them to succeed, tend to reciprocate the trust.
The act of demonstrating appreciation, brings huge rewards in making each of us feel better. It boosts our moods, strengthens relationships, reduces stress.
Showing genuine appreciation, is so simple, yet helps us achieve so much! Why wouldn’t we choose to demonstrate our appreciation more?
Action: Every day, find one person in your organization–one of the people that reports to you, a peer, someone who supports your effort–express your genuine appreciation for what they do. Every day, find a customer, perhaps someone you haven’t spoken to in years, but find a way to express your appreciation. Every day, some prospect/customer you are working with, find a way to express your appreciation.
Do this consistently, look at how it changes your relationships–beyond those with whom you have expressed your appreciation. Look it how it makes you feel.