Part 1: The Art of Appreciation – Ask for It!

In this two part series, I’ll look into the importance of appreciation and how it includes efforts from both the employee and the employer.  In the wake of Employee Appreciation Day, which was on March 3, I kept thinking about the thankless. Those that work that never get an “Atta Boy” after a long hard day or those that never get a positive e-mail with an influential organizational leader copied.  Is the employer the only one to blame in these situations?  Does an employee have any accountability?

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Laura Trice gave an excellent Ted Talk on the importance of praise and asking for appreciation. In the talk, “Remember to say thank you,” she mentioned that she would often feel embarrassed to say thank you or avoid taking some one’s praise. There is a tendency to shut down thank you’s or feel like appreciation is implied when that’s not enough.

Many times I have wondered if some one appreciated the things I did. According to Trice, we shouldn’t wonder any longer, we should just ask. But why does that feel scary? Trice says when we ask for praise, we give people “critical data” and that makes us vulnerable. Once we open up either to a spouse or friend, we then give the person the option on how they decide to respond. “Be honest about the praise you need,” Trice says, which I think can be used in workplaces as well.

No excuses given, leaders get busy, forgetful and rushed. Leaders expect employees to do their jobs well, so they can do a good job and so on and so forth. So, sometimes employees have to ask for needed, deserved appreciation that they have earned. This sounds about as daunting as asking for a raise, but remind your boss, it’s free and it will make the work place better.

Dr. Woodward from Fox Business notes that the challenge with appreciation is “how do you help your mangers and employees deliberately use appreciation… for higher engagement and creativity.”  In part two of this series, I will dig into the important things that leaders can do to utilize appreciation, but employees also need to realize that they play a part in the benefit of appreciation.  When surveyed, employees ranked internal recognition by supervisors and peers as the 4th and 5th signifiers (respectively) that a peer as successful.

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Of course, it’s an employers responsibly to give praise; however, sometimes they miss the mark. Regular appreciation may not be a part of their culture or people are too busy or they simply forget, but by employees asking for what they want, the work place can improve. When employees are recognized weekly by a supervisor, then 85% of them are satisfied with their job. Employees have the potential to make the work place better just by asking for it.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog! My ask this week:  Ask for the praise you deserve and let me know how it goes in the comment section below.


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