Appreciation: today and always

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I end many of my work conversations by saying, “I appreciate you.” I’m sometimes left wondering what I mean by that. Today, on Employee Appreciation Day, it’s worth digging deeper into this sentiment.

In our fast-paced world of work, it’s easy to overlook simple yet powerful acts of appreciation. One of my 2024 New Year’s resolutions is to talk less and listen more. Part of that intention is to carve out time to show that I’m grateful to those around me. Saying those three simple words — “I appreciate you” — brings a positive vibe to my teams. These words enhance our collective well-being.

Cultivating appreciation

Expressing appreciation at work is about more than recognizing the efforts of our colleagues. Appreciation fosters a positive culture, enhances morale, and strengthens bonds within the workplace.

RPG cultivates employee appreciation through our cultural building blocks: authenticity, belonging, and compassion. And an integral part of our business growth strategy is joy. Imagine that— we’re encouraged to be joyful at work! That can feel like a rare sentiment to place at the core of a business strategy. Prioritizing joy shows RPG’s appreciation of its employees and helps to create a positive, fun, and authentic culture.

Why should we show appreciation?

By showing appreciation and gratitude, we are acknowledging the contributions of others. We lift their spirits and ours. We inspire a sense of purpose and belonging by honoring the hard work of our teammates. And we develop a company-wide understanding of respect for one another.

At RPG all-staff meetings, we set aside time weekly for shouts-out: mentions of good work, stellar results, and teamwork. They show us, not just the colleagues providing or receiving feedback, that we care for each other.

While we’re there for each other, we’re also here to do a job. Studies show that expressing appreciation motivates employees to do good work. Recent research by Oxford University’s Saïd Business School found that 92% of workers are more likely to repeat a specific action after receiving recognition.

Recognition helps our employees feel valued and motivated to contribute their best. Appreciation and gratitude enrich individual relationships and propel collective success in the workplace – and beyond.

How should businesses show appreciation to employees?

Harvard Business Review offers these three simple, achievable tips for showing appreciation to employees and others:

  1. Prioritize active listening to nurture relationships at work. Set aside distractions, fully engage, and listen to your colleagues.
  2. Check in with the people you work with. Take the time to connect, show genuine interest in their well-being, and ask about their day, joys, and challenges.
  3. Tell people what you value about them. It’s a powerful gift and profound gesture. You lift their self-esteem and strengthen the bonds of a positive team culture.

Whether you say “I appreciate you” or use other words to show your appreciation, I hope you’ll join me in embarking on a journey of gratitude. Watch as it brings joy to the ordinary and helps you celebrate the extraordinary every day.


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