Enjoy this excerpt from our new book, Healthy Leadership.

People want to feel valued for their work. In fact, lack of appreciation is a key reason people leave jobs. Showing appreciation is a common blind spot for leaders—and for people in any relationship, for that matter.

You no doubt feel appreciative of your team; yet, it’s highly likely there’s a gap between how much your team feels appreciated and how much you really appreciate them.

Why is that?

This disconnect exists because people typically do not convert every thought of appreciation into words and actions.

While we judge ourselves by our intentions, others judge us by our actions. What is important is not how much you think you appreciate your team’s contributions, but rather how much you demonstrate your appreciation. The ultimate goal is that your team feels seen, valued, and recognized.

A survey of 15 million people worldwide illuminates the business benefits of appreciation. This Gallup study by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton found that people who receive regular recognition at work displayed a host of positive behaviors such as:

  • Heightened productivity;
  • Increased engagement with colleagues;
  • Greater likelihood of staying with the organization;
  • Higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers; and,
  • Better safety records and fewer accidents on the job.

Appreciation comes down to basic psychology. It feels good, so we do more of what we are appreciated for, and this increases motivation. As a leader, first reinforce those behaviors that you want to see more frequently.

Next, look for opportunities to recognize and appreciate your team’s efforts and results. Finally, catch your employees doing something right . . . and encourage them to do it often.

Healthy Leadership Book