4 Tips for Showing Your Employees Appreciation

Feb 8, 2012

As a shop owner, you appreciate the hard work and effort your employees put into every car your shop turns out. But do your employees feel that appreciation?

Not showing your employees how much your value their contributions can negatively impact both their work and your shop as a whole, according to Tony Schwartz, who covered the topic in a recent Harvard Business Review blog posting.

“Feeling genuinely appreciated lifts people up,” Schwartz wrote. “At the most basic level, it makes us feel safe, which is what frees us to do our best work. It’s also energizing. When our value feels at risk, as it so often does, that worry becomes preoccupying, which drains and diverts our energy from creating value.”

Schwartz offered the following four suggestions on how to best show your employees appreciation:

1. As the Hippocratic oath prescribes to physicians, “Above all else, do no harm.” “The costs of devaluing others are so great that we need to spend far more time thinking than we do now about how to hold people’s value, even in situations where they’ve fallen short and our goal is get them to change their behavior for the better,” Schwartz wrote.

2. Practice appreciation by starting with yourself. “If you have difficulty openly appreciating others, it’s likely you also find it difficult to appreciate yourself,” Schwartz wrote. “Take a few moments at the end of the day to ask yourself this simple question: ‘What can I rightly feel proud of today?'”

3. Make it a priority to notice what others are doing right. “The more you work at it, the better you’ll get at it, and the more natural it will become for you,” Schwartz wrote. “For example, start by thinking about what positive qualities, behaviors and contributions you currently take for granted among the members of your team. Then ask yourself, what is it that each of them uniquely brings to the table?”

4. Be appreciative. “The more specific you can be about what you value-and the more you notice what’s most meaningful to that person-the more positive your impact on that person is likely to be,” Schwartz wrote. “We’re all more vulnerable and needy than we like to imagine,” Schwartz wrote. “Authentically appreciating others will make you feel better about yourself, and it will also increase the likelihood they’ll invest more in their work, and in you. The human instinct for reciprocity runs deep.”

To read the complete Harvard Business Review blog post, click here.