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Appreciation - The Game Changer

by: Ellene Meece

Mother Teresa is credited in saying, "There is more hunger in the world for love and appreciation than for bread." Being appreciated is a basic need and having that need met is a game changer.

Whether it is in our daily home life, or in our workplace, or interacting with our church family, appreciation changes everything for the better.

Other notable people have reiterated this truth. Here are a few:

"Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary." Margaret Cousins

"Don't forget a person's greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated." H. Jackson Brown

"Trade your expectation for appreciation and the world changes instantly." Tony Robbins

Perhaps at the core of appreciation towards others is the simple practice of thinking of others before ourselves, of giving value to another as a person.

Scripture reminds us, "Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves" (Romans 12:10).

Margy Bresslour wrote an article, Employees Who Feel Valued Add Value. Below are excerpts from this timely research and tips on making others feel appreciated:

We all want to feel valued and believe that we are of value to others. All of us can contribute to creating a culture where all participants who work for and with us know that who they are and what they do matters and makes a difference. Appreciation in the workplace can help employees understand how much they are valued by their peers, their manager, and the organization as a whole.

Individuals who feel valued contribute more, do better work, are more engaged, are loyal and passionate about their work and have positive interactions with the people they work with. As a result, companies that embrace the notion of actively valuing their people receive a huge pay-off. A study from the Jackson Organization, a survey research consultancy, found that "companies that effectively appreciate employee value enjoy a return on equity and assets more than triple that experienced by firms that don't." (Cited in Dr. Noelle Nelson's book, Make More Money by Making Your Employees Happy.)

How do we create a culture where employees feel valued?

1. Appreciate them: Notice your employees doing things that add value to the organization. It could be their up-beat, positive attitude or their hard work. It could be the effort and thought they put into a project. It could be their creative thinking or ideas. Let them know you appreciate who they are and what they do. Sincerity is key.

2. Be interested - Show that you care: Employees bring more than their physical presence to work; they bring their life history, their personal life, and their stories and experiences. Ask them about themselves. Connecting with them will help you gain an understanding of their past, their present, and their goals for the future. It will help them know that you care about the whole person they are.

3. Openly Communicate: According to a recent survey of 1,000 full-time employees across the US conducted by 15Five, 81% of those surveyed would rather work for a company that values open communication than one that offers great perks. We feel valued when we're engaged in conversations that impact the organization.

4. Help them grow: Learn your employees strengths and aspirations. When you help your employees grow - through offering connections, support, teaching skills, mentoring, new opportunities - you empower them. Make sure you are utilizing each employee's strengths. It will bring out the best in them and in turn be of benefit to the organization. People who help us along the way are long remembered and treasured. We work hard for these people. We are loyal to them.
When we are valued, we gain confidence, feel good, and eagerly contribute. Our reaction to our work environment impacts our attitude and how we feel about ourselves. The good feeling we get from knowing that we are valued gets passed on to other people in our lives. Create a culture where employees feel valued. The pay-off for you, the organization, and for your employees is huge.

Whether in the marketplace with employees and co-workers or in the home with our family relationships or in the church family in our efforts to share the good news, appreciation is key - a game changer in every way.



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