I recently had a conversation with a teacher on professional development, and she commented that the training was good but "There was no food--not even a candy mint.” This might seem trivial to some, but in her mind, it meant she was not appreciated. Not that food really adds to a PD, but as we all know, it IS the little things that matter.
Let's take a moment to ask ourselves the question: when was the last time you gave one of your colleagues any kind of display of appreciation--a little thing with a BIG impact? As rhetorical as that may sound, it can be said that when staff members feel appreciated, you have laid the groundwork for a relationship that fosters loyalty and trust. This is exactly the bond you want to build so that when the time comes, that same loyalty and trust you established might help diminish resistance to any change you need to promote.
Authentic appreciation, as it is officially called, requires that relationship building be done as an individual communication, not as a group. It sets the stage for a positive work culture where each staff member begins to feel valued, despite all the mandates and extra tasks or duties that may be added.
Appreciation is much different than recognition. A recent Talent Development magazine article ("Change, Again?") notes employee recognition programs were not designed to help individuals feel valued; instead, they were designed to acknowledge and reward desired performance. Appreciation may or may not rely on performance but on an intrinsic value, such as being early and starting the coffee pot. Once again, it’s the little things that you notice and then compliment someone on that give others a feeling of worth and value.
Suggestion: today, take a look around and find at least three folks to appreciate for a task they took on. By doing that, you have managed to make a positive impact on them and your culture with no financial impact.
So in the spirit of authentic appreciation, I appreciate you, dear blog reader, for continuing to read my blogs and ponder on my musings.
Have a good day appreciating others!