Acts of Appreciation Foster Employee Retention

August 12, 2011
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One of the activities I absolutely loathed growing up was writing thank you notes.  As an adult, it is now easy to understand that my parents simply wanted me to practice my penmanship and show appreciation for the birthday gifts I received.

Every human being longs to feel important at home and in the workplace.  William James, often referred to as the father of American psychology, once said, “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”  It’s no surprise that when one searches ‘ways to show appreciation,’ there are over 3 million Google search results.

In a study conducted last March by MarketTools, Inc., a market research company based in San Francisco, it was reported that nearly 50% of surveyed employees have considered leaving their current jobs and 21 percent had applied for another job in the past six months.

Other studies have consistently shown that employees of companies with a culture of recognition are five times more likely to feel valued and eleven times more likely to feel committed to their job.

Here are five FREE ways to apply Dale Carnegie’s Human Relations principle #2 is, “Give honest, sincere appreciation.”

  1. Praise a specific action that a coworker has done well.  It is critical to be specific so as to show sincerity.
  2. Give thanks for jobs big and small.  Managers expect that employees pour their hearts and souls into every task, pitch, presentation, project, etc. however this is often not the case.  Employees who receive appreciation on a consistent basis are more likely to take pride in everything for which they are responsible.
  3. If possible, offer employees flexible scheduling during the holidays and/or summer.  Many companies now offer ‘summer hours’ which can consist of half days every other Friday or perhaps one Friday per summer month.
  4. Launch a seasonal holiday tradition such as a Secret Santa gift exchange.   Since employees would pay for the gifts to be exchanged, a spending cap should be applied.  It’s often entertaining to see what people can find for $10.
  5. Create and distribute silly or serious awards.  Either a manager could determine who should receive which award or allow employees to vote.  Silly awards such as ‘Most Likely to Arrive Early,’ or ‘Leader, leader of them all,’ are both fun to create and give to worthy employees.

It is much more costly to hire new employees than to retain strong ones.  By showing appreciation every day, employees will feel valued and be more likely to remain committed to their employers.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Central & Southern New Jersey. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @CarnegieJersey.

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