Where IS the Love?

In our latest leadership report, we discuss the challenge of prioritizing in our fifth challenge facing leaders today, “Where IS the love?”

Where IS the love?

You know that feeling you get when you’ve put in your very best effort and knocked something out of the park, and everyone around you notices? They shower you with praise and appreciation. You feel on top of the world and get a warm glow from the inside out? You have an intuitive sense that you are exactly where you are meant to be, doing exactly what you should be doing.

If this feeling isn’t very familiar or if you feel like it doesn’t come around often enough, you’re not alone. A recent study (HBR) revealed that 59% of employees say they have never had a boss who truly appreciates them, and 53% admitted they would stay at their company longer if they felt more appreciation for their work. More than half of us feel like we aren’t appreciated! A little love seems like low hanging fruit for leaders and companies who are looking to motivate and engage their employees.

One definition of appreciation is: recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something. It sounds pretty simple, so why does it seem to be so lacking in our every day lives? And with the increasing evidence that gratitude strongly correlates with well-being, it really does make you wonder why we don’t all practice a bit more appreciation and gratitude.

The reality is most of us are operating in survival mode, the majority of the time. New demands, requests, pressures and expectations are coming at us every day. This leads us to focus on what we haven’t done yet, what we are unsure about, decisions that still need to be made. With the pressure of all of this, it can be hard to take a moment to pause and reflect on: what has gotten done, who has helped you along the way, and how the skills and contributions of others have made a difference. If you are looking for ways to shower your colleagues with a bit more love, take a look at these simple ideas and see if there are a few you can integrate appreciation into your team more regularly:

  1. Lead by Example: Culture starts at the top. Leaders who demonstrate genuine appreciation for their team members set the tone for the entire organization. A simple thank you note or public recognition during a meeting from a leader goes a long way in setting a tone of gratitude.
  2. Create Opportunities for Peer Recognition: If they don’t already exist, establish a regular cadence for recognizing employee contributions. This could include peer-to-peer recognition programs, or simple shout-outs at regular intervals. At The Roundtable we start every team meeting with “Kudos” to recognize a colleague who has lived our values recently.
  3. Be Specific: Generic compliments can feel insincere. Providing specific feedback highlighting the impact of an individual’s actions is so much more impactful. Instead of “Well done” or “Great job in that meeting”…provide more detail such as: “I really liked how you leveraged your insights from other client relationships to overcome their objection. Your confidence and passion in delivering the message really helped to win them over”.
  4. Promote a Feedback-Rich Environment: Appreciation shouldn’t be a one-way street. Encourage employees to express gratitude towards their colleagues and supervisors. Implementing a culture of feedback ensures that appreciation becomes ingrained in the organization’s DNA.
  5. Invest in Employee Development: Showing appreciation also goes beyond verbal recognition. Investing in employees’ professional development communicates that their growth is valued. Whether it’s through training programs, mentorship opportunities, or career advancement pathways, investing in employees demonstrates a long-term commitment to their success.
  6. Celebrate Milestones: Whether it’s work anniversaries, project completions, or personal achievements, take the time to celebrate milestones. This not only acknowledges individual contributions but also reinforces a sense of belonging within the organization.

Appreciation has a ripple effect. When employees feel valued, they are more likely to appreciate others as well. This leads to a more engaged and motivated workforce, where we can all have a bit more fun.

It can be hard to remind yourself to take a pause and appreciate those around you when you’re busy pushing for results. If you’d like to learn about how to become more balanced in your focus as a leader, reach out for a complimentary consultation. And, watch out for our upcoming webinar featuring Bev Kaye, author of the book Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Getting Good People to Stay in June 2024.



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