Appreciation and Encouragement
During this time of working from home and dealing with challenges of connecting with your teams, co-workers, peers, and clients, appreciation and encouragement are critical. Even our families need that support, as we are challenged to be at home working and schooling together.
In “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace” by Gary Chapman & Paul White (Chapman is also the author of “The 5 Love Languages”), the authors share the 5 ways that individuals like to be appreciated in the workplace: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Tangible Gifts and Physical Touch.
Their research is compelling: Creating a culture where all feel empowered and appreciated leads to positive work environments, relationships, and business results. In fact, 64 percent of Americans who leave their job say they do so because they don’t feel appreciated. And it’s not just the responsibility of the leaders in organizations; what we all desire most is appreciation from our colleagues, peers, and team members.
During this challenging time, we need to be actively communicating appreciation, encouragement and support – not based on performance or achievements, but rather grounded in the value we hold for others as individuals. When we feel appreciated for our gifts, we feel motivated to take on more and raise our potential.
The following are some ideas for demonstrating appreciation when working remotely, based on the Chapman/White research:
- Quality Time Appreciation – When working remotely, most workers appreciate quality time with their colleagues and supervisor. This may include setting intentional connections focused primarily on “chatting,” just to hear about what they did over the weekend and sharing what is going on in their lives – virtual coffee meetings, happy hours, or lunch.
- Words of Affirmation – Use multiple platforms for communicating your appreciation – email, texts, telephone, and using WebX or Zoom. Send physical mail occasionally. Include praise to remote workers that includes others, copying the team on emails and mentioning appreciation on conference calls or live meetings.
- Acts of Service – Offering to help on projects is a great way to appreciate people.
- Lastly, be specific with your appreciation. List how it helped you and/or why their contribution made a difference. Tell the person how their gifts and talents contribute to the team.
What ideas do you have to share your appreciation with your teams, leaders, and peers in your organization?
Being told you’re appreciated is one of the simplest and most uplifting things you can hear.
– Sue Fitzmaurice