WorkPlaceInsight recently released an alarming study that shows only 45% of Americans actually feel appreciated at work. With an estimate that there are over 150,000,000 Americans in the workforce, that means over 70,000,000 people go to work every single day feeling unnoticed, undervalued, and dispassionate. Friends, this is an epidemic.

Though technology keeps evolving and conventional practices are slowly fading out of our modern organizations, many companies are still trapped in this traditional idea.

“Why do I need to thank my employees for doing something that they were hired to do?”

This is a dangerous mindset for multiple reasons, the main one being –

You have hired your employees to do a job, but your employees are still human beings at the end of the day.  And as human beings, the biological need to be recognized is stronger than the desire for career development. We all know what it is like to feel appreciated by someone. When someone goes out of their way to serve us or to say something that caught us by surprise, it inspires gratitude within us. That is why companies who use employee recognition programs within their organization have a 31% lower voluntary turnover rate. Employee appreciation is scientifically proven to decrease turnover and make employees more productive, so why is it lacking in our companies today? And why would it be considered a waste of time by many?

We sat down with our CRO of Wishlist, John Whiteside, to discuss from his perspective the main reasons as to why appreciation itself is undervalued.

“I think it’s a combination of a lot of things. With the evolution of technology, we are all very busy. No one takes the time, in general, to reflect and recognize things and people they are grateful for in their own life, so how could they possibly reflect and recognize the stamina of their employees and what they’re doing for their business? Because of this, there are no clear examples within organizations as to how appreciation should look on a professional level. This kind of cultural shift has to start from the top, and if company leaders are not invested in appreciation, why would their organization be? At the end of the day, people just don’t know how to do it. They don’t know how to appreciate each other in the workplace, because no one has shown them how.” – John Whiteside, CRO of Wishlist

Employees want to be authentically appreciated above the opportunities you can provide them. 

Our team at Wishlist created a professional framework for appreciation by using 5 simple principles that will help you take those leaps into a more engaged culture.

Start Small.

Take the first step towards an appreciative culture by rallying your team together to celebrate new babies, new houses, new marriages, new pets, etc. Employees want to feel safe enough to appreciate each other, so start by taking baby steps.

Notice & recognize the day-to-day efforts.

Look at the value they are bringing to the business and to the customers. Measure what your employees are doing on a daily basis. Reward and recognize quality, quantity and satisfaction based on these metrics.

Show gratitude directly & personally.

Recognition should come directly from the manager or director of that specific team, so make time to train those managers on how to appreciate their teams well. Your appreciation should be personal, specific and timely.

Thank employees frequently.

This one is simple: an employee shouldn’t have to wait until the end of the year to learn that they are valued and noticed by their peers and superiors.

Invest in a rewards & recognition software.

Investing in a rewards and recognition tool not only takes the nitty-gritty work off of your desk, but it keeps appreciation on everyone’s mind. By teaching your manager how to use the tool successfully, you will start to see increased engagement and appreciation in your organization. To learn more about what Wishlist does, click here.

What if 70,000,000 people felt appreciated at work? Better yet, what if your team felt appreciated at work? Think about the goals that would be reached, and the lives that would be improved and changed for the better because of your dedication to your team’s wellbeing. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it’s also the smart thing to do.

Change the trajectory of your company culture & join us in this movement of appreciation!