Friday, March 6 was Employee Appreciation Day, which most people assume is about leaders and managers appreciating employees – and it is. But here’s a recent statistic from the Society of Human Resources Managers: peer-to-peer appreciation is nearly 36 percent more likely to have a positive impact on a company’s financial results than manager-to-employee appreciation alone.
The most successful companies encourage employees to be helpful, encouraging, and appreciative of one another. After all, your coworkers are the ones in the trenches with you. Leaders and managers can’t just hope that employees will show appreciation for each other:
They have to talk about the value of it in team meetings.
They have to make the effort to notice when an employee is particularly helpful or encouraging of other team members.
They have to recognize the behavior.
They need to model it.
Showing appreciation and encouragement comes naturally to some people, but not so much to others. In some ways, it needs to be taught. So, in addition to talking about the value of peer-to-peer appreciation, they need to show appreciation in specific, constructive ways and to help employees understand what kinds of encouragement and appreciation make the most difference. Just saying Good work doesn’t really impart a lot of information. It’s much more impactful when you can say something like:
¢ Thanks for your hard work in getting the reports done on time. I know we were crunched and you made a big difference in our meeting the deadline.
¢ That was a great suggestion you made at the meeting today.
¢ Thanks for helping the new employee learn her way around.
¢ I appreciate how you always know when everyone’s birthday is and make a point of it.
So keeping Employee Appreciation Day in mind, show your appreciation by instituting policies and practices that encourage people to show support and encouragement for one another. And be sure your people know it’s a year-’round policy!
(Excerpted from an article by Caroline Valentine at Valentine HR}