There are three opportunities to practice gratitude/appreciation in ways that benefit your business and employees. My primary recommendation for you as an HR practitioner is to educate managers and supervisors on how appreciation can improve workflow and employee satisfaction.
The question HR must ask themselves is how to increase productivity and motivation in employees? Implement an employee recognition system. It is essential to show appreciation and gratitude for the blessings we can find in the workplace. Whether that be your favourite co-worker, helpful manager, or hard-working employee. Perhaps it could be the coffee machine in the corner of the office or the comfortable chair you get to sit in every day. Finding the blessings in minor things can boost morale within the workplace.
These are the tips I am providing to practice appreciation to improve your workplace:
1. Appreciating employees achievements, hard work & sacrifices
When training or educating the managers on the expectations of the business, emphasise the importance of appreciating hard work. As HR consultants, it is our responsibility to ensure the relationships between the managers and employees are productive. Without the hard work from the management, the junior members of staff, the cleaners or the HR team, the business would not thrive.
From all perspectives, there is something and someone who contributes to the business’ success. As HR practitioners, we need to encourage these habits as recognition is linked to improving employee engagement and completing valuable objectives.
Imagine a young graduate working as an editorial assistant at her town’s local newspaper. Her hustle and work ethic is unmatched as she strives to prove she deserves that spot within this company. She works into her evenings and weekends, completing designated tasks and taking the initiative to complete extra assignments.
However, her supervisors fail to acknowledge her efforts. Ignoring her dedication may result in the editorial assistant feeling underappreciated and undervalued. Perhaps she begins to doubt herself, which is followed by low self-esteem.
Let’s look at an alternative outcome that will benefit the business by showing gratitude for the employee’s hard work:
After presenting her research to the senior journalist and editor of the newspaper, she is met with praise and constructive feedback. Being grateful doesn’t negate the professional responsibility of providing criticism. It simply reassures the employee that they are valued within the company, encouraging the dedication that they are putting towards their work.
Going forward, the graduate’s confidence in her abilities has improved, and she continues to do meaningful work that benefits the newspaper.
2. Appreciating the little things is key to job satisfaction
I cannot emphasise enough the importance of appreciating the tiniest things- and that applies to everyone. The junior employees to the CEO of a company can always find something to be grateful for and change their motivation in a matter of minutes. Whether that be the fantastic view out of the office window, friendly co-workers, eating a delicious sandwich for lunch, or completing a small goal.
I did some research on the science of appreciation in the workplace and found some interesting insights. “Episodic gratitude” is a series of small blessings that occur throughout your life in “episodes.” An example of this could be generous praise from the boss or successfully meeting your KPIs for the month. If you learn to appreciate these episodic blessings, it will lead to “persistent gratitude.”
“Persistent gratitude” is when your perspective is more optimistic and appreciative of everything in your life. This includes negative experiences. Maybe your manager expressed disappointment in something you did, or you lost your favourite pen. Appreciate the opportunity to correct your mistakes in the future and be grateful you lost your pen rather than your computer or phone. Avoid letting the weight of the world crush you and use it to your advantage.
Within a workplace, we are influenced by one another’s attitudes and ethics. Therefore, when one person is persistently grateful, it can result in “collective gratitude.” As a collective, an employee’s newfound appreciation for the workplace translates to everyone at work.
Imagine a smoothie bar in a small coastal town located right next to the beach and in the centre of the vibrant mall. The day is quiet, and it feels as if the clock has stopped ticking. You look around the store, searching for something to do.
After a rough night of sleep, you begin to feel unmotivated and daydream about snuggling into your soft mattress. Your manager approaches you and asks you to prepare some fruit for the next day’s shift. His demeanour is enthusiastic as he assists you in assembling the fruit. His optimistic spirit is infectious, encouraging you to follow his lead. Chopping watermelon side by side, you ask why he’s so happy. He simply replies, “I work on the beach.”
3. Appreciating the good in your professional and personal life
As I’ve mentioned, there are many opportunities for HR to provide tips regarding these habits to improve job satisfaction. Here is my final recommendation:
Following your aspirations and appreciating these small things can coexist. You don’t have to be stuck in the present to appreciate the present. Something to keep in mind is that we may not have our dream job yet; however, that doesn’t negate the blessings around us. Learning to appreciate the good around you will make you happy and change your perspectives on what may negatively affect you. To succeed professionally, you must succeed personally. By personally, I mean taking care of your psychological and physical health. Changing your perspective is a great way to achieve this.
A great resource to consider is meditation. If you have access to Netflix or YouTube, search for “Headspace guide to meditation.” Taking the time in your day to be still and truly appreciate the moment can help you achieve what I have listed above. Downtime is as significant as productivity. It gives us the chance to reboot. Speaking to HR professionals directly, perhaps incorporating guided meditation into the workplace could improve morale or provide employees to decompress.
Our headspace and views are the things that can influence our work performance and attitudes. Learning to appreciate hard work and the smallest blessings will bolster our productivity and wellbeing in our personal and professional lives.
Madi Towner is a Content Marketing Specialist for Myrecruitment+ and in her free time, she enjoys blogging and creative writing.
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