Creating Harmony and Positive Energy at Work
A vibrant workplace draws people to it — quality, talented employees want to work in a healthy context. A vibrant workplace is the antithesis of how many work environments are described: negative, energy-sapping, and toxic to growth. In healthy workplaces, employees bring their own gifts and unique personalities to add to the synergy of a dynamic work setting.
This is particularly relevant right now. Recent research by the Sloan School of Business at MIT found that during the recent Great Resignation that employees cited workplace culture issues as the reason they were leaving by a factor of 10x in comparison to leaving for financial reasons!
Employees Don’t Feel Appreciated
Why is there such a theme of despair in many workplaces? Because people want to be appreciated for what they do at work. Unfortunately, this isn’t usually the case.
In fact, while 51 percent of managers surveyed across several companies felt they were doing a good job of recognizing employees for work well done, only 17 percent of the employees who worked for those managers felt appreciated by their supervisor. Thus, there was a wide discrepancy between how the managers felt they were doing in providing recognition, and what their employees experienced.
This pattern contrasts with what employees report they desperately desire:
Over 200,000 global employees were studied by the Boston Consulting Group, and the top reason they reported enjoying their work was “feeling appreciated” (#2 was having a good relationship with their supervisor, and #4 was that they had a good relationship with their colleagues. Financial compensation didn’t appear until #8).
Four out of five employees (81%) say they are motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work.
A vibrant workplace isn’t a perfect, utopian organization that is without struggles or challenges. In fact, the vibrant workplace actually can exist in the same external conditions as a toxic workplace. But healthy workplaces find ways to resist and repel negative influences, to train team members to build healthy internal processes, and to continually put forth positive energy toward the organization’s goals.
How does all this happen? A healthy organization can’t develop without authentic appreciation — a core component and driving force for a vibrant workplace to grow and prosper. Why is this so important? Because authentic appreciation:
- affirms the value of each member of the organization, helping them function better and grow in their competencies;
- communicates directly at a personal level between team members, rather than the indirect impersonal messages typically sent in an unhealthy workplace;
- creates proactive energy for the recipient, for the sender, for others observing, and for the organization as a whole;
- displays genuine affirmation — not faked displays or a cheap imitation, and not just trying to look like the real thing;
- gives team members the energy and stamina to overcome the obstacles encountered in everyday work life.
As I have consulted with organizations around the country, some common obstacles to creating a culture of appreciation have become apparent. These include lack of support from management, pushback from supervisors, unique challenges to various industries and settings, and cross-cultural differences. In all, ten common obstacles were identified.
To learn more about identifying and overcoming the most common obstacles to applying the 5 languages in the workplace and creating an environment where people feel truly valued, pick up a copy of The Vibrant Workplace. It will help equip you to be the “change agent” in building a healthier workplace.
Categories 5 Languages of Appreciation, Authenticity, Managing By Appreciation, Toxic workplaces, Vibrant Workplace, Workplace Culture