Tips for Developing a Culture of Appreciation: How to Get Past Being ‘Stuck’
Many of us have good intentions. We want to help improve our workplace culture, become more positive and supportive, and less combative and stressful. And many of us have tried, but have gotten stuck in their endeavors. Our efforts in introducing the 5 languages of appreciation to leaders and colleagues have either been met with a lukewarm response or started out well, but fizzled before getting off the ground (partly due to all of the challenges the COVID pandemic has created).
But I would encourage you: Take heart! Steps can be taken to get you ‘unstuck.’
Remember: People Have Limited Time and Energy
Let me remind you of a basic rule in life: we all have limited time and energy. As a result, we have to prioritize where we are going to invest these resources. Our first priority, both individually and organizationally, is survival. If we don’t survive, nothing else matters.
In the current circumstances, overcoming challenges (either short-term or long-term) is not a given. So, sharing information and resources that help us stay afloat is welcomed by many. Reducing your team members’ concerns about getting past obstacles can motivate them to consider what you have to offer. Consider these facts:
- in the ‘Great Resignation’ it has been demonstrated that the majority of employees who resign do not leave to earn more money but to escape a toxic work environment;
- we have found that those individuals who stay personally connected with their colleagues fare better in managing the stress of remote work than those who are isolated; How to Manage Stress as a Newly Remote Employee, Psychology Today;
- team members’ resilience to stress is increased when they are part of a supportive team; Training Industry
- training of employees in using the 5 languages of appreciation has been shown to be effective in increasing their sense of being appreciated and feeling valued.
Key Steps to Take
Some commonly accepted principles among successful leaders include the following:
- Make sure you understand the ‘why.’ Helping others see the end-goal will make you more successful in getting them to engage from the beginning.
- Don’t waste time and energy recreating the wheel. Use available resources whenever possible.
- Delegate whenever possible and appropriate. Let others participate and do what they can. Don’t try to do everything yourself.
- Start small and grow over time. Begin your efforts with a few (like-minded) colleagues. Don’t try to implement an organization-wide program from the beginning.
How do these principles work out practically in implementing authentic appreciation in your workplace?
- Make sure others don’t see appreciation as just a way to make people “feel good.” The goal is to improve work-based relationships, create a more positive culture, retain your current talent, and become a place where others want to work!
- The resources are already there:
- –The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace book
- -the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory and group summary report
- -the Appreciation at Work training kits which provide turn-key resources to train work -groups on how to communicate appreciation to one another (for both onsite and remote employees)
- Ask others to help (your HR director, trainers, your manager or the person most concerned about retaining team members). Ask them to invest in the resources that will foster more positive interactions among colleagues (and across departments!).
- Start with your team or department. Volunteer to be a ‘pilot group’ to see how the process goes and what impact it has. Then grow from there. (This is how most organizations have been successful in actually making authentic appreciation an integral part of their culture.)
Finally, if you (or others) need a bit more evidence, listen to testimonials from leaders who have used our resources at Miller Coors and Heinz, Inc., in a mining company , with salespersons , in a non-profit organization and found them to be culture-changing!Tags: appreciation
Categories 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, Appreciation, Questions, Workplace Culture