The Ultimate Guide to Employee Appreciation
The 3 Levels of Appreciation
Level 1 – Thanking People for WHAT they do
This is the easiest and most common way to thank someone. For most people, it is fairly automatic which is both good and bad. Good that it happens and bad that it can seem perfunctory and without feeling. Sometimes all there is time for is “Thank You”. The key is to give the person your full attention (even if just for a moment), FEEL the appreciation as you say it, and intend them to feel it too.
Level 2 – Thanking People for HOW they do things
This level of appreciation is rarely automatic because it takes your focused attention to discover it. It is a skill to practice noticing HOW people do things.Once you start to notice, it is much easy to appreciate people for how they do things. The trick is noticing. Hre are a few areas to look. In your organization, there are people who can accomplish a task much faster than others. What is the process they use? How do they do it? How do they approach their work? What is their attitude? How do they handle a crisis? How do they organize their work or prepare? Do they block out calls? What is their focus like? Are they thorough? Are they fast? Are they meticulous? Thanking someone for the process they use is a much more personal thank you and can really make someone’s day.
Level 3 – Expressing Gratitude for WHO people are
This last level is the hardest of all but with practice, you can master this skill. Who is the person behind the accomplishment? Why do they do it the way they do it? This is all about recognizing character and is the most personal way to thank someone. When a respected leader takes the time to know and appreciate you, it can stay with you, and keep generating happy feelings for hours, days, weeks or even a lifetime. One way to do this is to think about the traits you admire such as honesty, loyalty, courage, enthusiastic, joyful, generous etc. When you recognize someone for who they are, it can have a profound and lasting impact on their well-being. It is also one of the key ingredients in the Ultimate Guide to Encouraging.
The 4 Steps to a Meaningful Thank You
Saying thank you is the bare minimum and if you never go past it, it loses its meaning and can actually have the opposite effect and increase resentment instead of decrease resentment.
Step 1 Be specific about what you are thanking them for.
Step 2 Tell them how it makes you feel.
Step 3 Explain the impact their actions had on you or the company
Step 4 Give them a reward.
The no cost way to do this is with both a verbal and a physical recognition.
- A warm smile
- A high five
- A pat on the back
- A fist bump
- A fist pump
- Great work!
- You nailed it!
- So good!
- Woot Woot
- Any happy declaration that feels natural to you
Rewards That Cost $
The paid version could be done in many different ways and really isn’t required. My suggestion is to keep it as simple as possible and only do it if it is fun for you.
- A points system. – Example – Think of 3 – 5 things everyone wants and assign a points value to each thing. Have a spreadsheet with people’s names which you can easily access with your phone, record any points there and review it once a month. Then you can do things like, you just earned 500 points!
- The gift of time. Example – As simple as, why don’t you leave early today, or you have earned a get out of jail early card to use in the future, or I will tell HR to add an extra day of holiday time for you. Etc.
- A monetary promise. Example – One CEO I know walks around with gift cards. When someone does something he really likes, he hands one out right then and there. People absolutely love it when he comes around and they would walk through a wall if he asked them to.
People Love Being Appreciated For…
Remembering to do the dirty little jobs no one else does.
- (what) Thank you for cleaning the inside of the microwave. It makes me happy to know that I have someone like you taking care of the little things that can irritate people. It is that kind of initiative that makes this a great place to work and I for one really appreciate your effort.
- (how)Thanks for solving the photocopier jams. It makes me relieved to have someone who is willing to take the initiative to solve these problems. You are helping to limit everyone’s frustration and are keeping things moving forward.
- (who)Thanks for being so committed to keeping the board room and reception area looking so nice in between clients. It makes me proud when clients come in and everything’s in its place. It makes a good first impression and helps people to feel confident in our services.
Doing jobs someone else was supposed to do.
- (what) Thanks for filling in for ______. I know it increases your workload and I am grateful for your willingness to fill in. Without your efforts, everyone’s job would be harder today so thank you.
- (how) It is so nice to have someone who will step in for their colleagues without complaining to help the team succeed. I am so impressed at how you are able to do that and I really appreciate having you as part of my team.
- (who) Thank you for being so supportive of your colleague. It feels great to see you take the lead and help create an environment where people help each other succeed.
Sacrificing time with family to contribute to the company’s success.
- (what) Thanks for staying late today. I feel bad that you are taking time away from your family to complete this project but it will make a big difference to everyone to fulfill on our promise and I really appreciate your efforts.
- (how) Thanks for not cutting any corners on this file, even though you had to stay late to complete it. It makes me proud to have such excellent people on the team and will certainly go a long way to creating a happy and loyal client.
- (who) Thank you for being so dedicated to excellence in your job. I know how important family is to you and seeing you here really makes me believe we can achieve our goals.
Supporting others through a crisis or a frustration.
- (what) Thanks for helping _______ with her computer issue. They were super frustrated and I am delighted to see you step in make them feel better and get the job done.
- (how) I was so impressed with how quickly you jumped in to help __________. You make this a better place to work and I really appreciate that.
- (who) You were so kind to step in and support _________ through their challenge. I am so pleased to see the team supporting each other and I am sure you made them feel better and helped shift their perspective on things.
Delivering extraordinary service to a customer.
- (what) Thanks for creating a great experience for that last client. It makes my job easier when my team delivers on our promises and I can relax knowing your on the job.
- (how) Thanks for completing that file perfectly and having it so well organized. It makes it so easy to go through with the client and really makes them feel great about the money they are pending with us.
- (who) Thanks for being so cheerful everyday with our customers. I feel so confident that we will hit our sales targets with people like you serving our customers.
Overcoming a personal challenge.
Completing a particularly difficult assignment.
- (what) Thanks for coming in even though you broke your arm yesterday. It is inspiring to me to see you overcome that and it will really help to make sure the team doesn’t get behind.
- (how) Thank for showing up and always doing your best even when you are dealing with so many things aways from the office. I am impressed at how you consistently show up and perform at a high level. It really helps our firm’s reputation to deliver consistent results for our clients
- (who) Your determination to not let anything stop you inspires me and everyone else here. Thank you for your example.
- (what) Thank you for serving that difficult and demanding customer. I was very impressed. That kind of service is what helps this company stand out from the competition.
- (how)Thank you for serving that difficult and demanding customer. I was astonished at how you were able to keep your cool. You turned an upset person into a raving fan and that is what will keep this company going.
- (who) Thank you for serving that difficult and demanding customer. I was in awe at how you were able to be so empathetic and respectful with such an upset person. I think you really helped that person feel much better about their day.
Always showing up with a positive attitude
- (what) Thanks for smiling all the time. It gives me a boost and makes work easier for everyone.
- (how) Thank you for accomplishing your tasks so happily. It makes my job feel easier and helps everyone’s mood in the office.
- (who) Thank you for being so upbeat and positive all the time. I always look forward to interacting with you because it makes me feel better and I know that is true for everyone here.
Supporting initiatives whole heartedly
- (what) Thanks for speaking up in support of the new initiative. You made me feel supported and I think it will help reduce resistance among the rest of the staff.
- (how) Thanks for spelling so eloquently your support of the new initiative. You really captured the essence of what we are going for and clarified for everyone what we need to do as a team. I was shocked at how that created a warm reception from everyone.
- (who) You are such an enthusiastic person. It really makes me feel confident that we can achieve our goals and I think it really inspires your colleagues too.
Being consistent in how they show up
- (what) Thank you for being on time everyday. It makes me feel relaxed knowing I can count on you to be there when I need you and it helps maintain our standards around here.
- (how) I am so pleased in how consistent you are in your file quality. It really helps me focus on building the relationship with the client when I don’t need to be worrying if the file was done properly.
- (who) You are so reliable I wish I had a hundred people like you. You make me feel more confident as a leader and how all the new people how they need to be in order to succeed. I really appreciate having you as part of our team.
Appreciation is step 3 in my 9 step system for creating happy, profit focused and loyal employees in the workplace in 90 days. If you would like more information about the other 8 steps, you can book a strategy session with me here.