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The Power of Appreciation

The pioneering psychologist and philosopher William James once said, “The deepest human need is the need to be appreciated.”

The U.S. Department of Labor stated that 46% of the employees who voluntarily quit their jobs do so because they didn’t feel appreciated.

We all want to feel appreciated, not for just a job well done, but for showing up every day, for being on time, for being proactive, for lending a helping hand, for having a smile on our face. It seems most managers today get so caught up in the day-to-day pressures of meeting quotas, goals and objectives, that they forget to compliment, thank, and appreciate all the folks around them who make it possible for them to meet all those quotas, goals and objectives.

It doesn’t cost a dime to appreciate an employee - but it costs a great deal of money not to. If a qualified employee leaves, you now have separation processing costs, hiring costs, training costs, lost productivity and possibly lost revenue. Keep Employees, Inc. (a leading employee retention consultancy) puts a dollar amount on the costs of losing a productive employee:

For hourly employees: 0.25 to 0.50 times their annual wages plus benefits

For middle managers: 1.00 to 1.50 times their annual salary plus benefits

For top management: 3.00 to 5.00 times their annual salary plus benefits

A recent Gallup poll of more than 1 million employed U.S. workers concluded that the number one reason people quit their jobs is a “bad boss” or immediate supervisor. Common “bad boss” behaviors (in case you need a reminder) are bullying, harassment, discrimination and lack of respect. I would assert that a boss who made an effort to appreciate and compliment their employees would seldom, if ever, be ascribed with any of those oppressive behaviors. To me, it is just plain bad business to lose an employee who is qualified, doing their job and contributing to the company’s success, because you neglected to go out of your way to tell them they are doing a good job.

If you want to increase productivity, morale, efficiency, effectiveness, resourcefulness, competency and teamwork, then start making the effort of appreciating all those around you. If corporate and personal success interests you, then start showing some interest and appreciation to your employees and associates.

When you start showing people you care about them and appreciate their efforts, you will be amazed at the benefits it will bring. But understand one important point. This is no one-time affair. Done properly... it is a way of life!