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By Maria Elena Duron

Does your work environment resonate a culture of gratitude and appreciation?

Even if you are a two-man operation, you have to realize that showing appreciation to your teammate is crucial if your business is going to be as productive as you want it to be.

According to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, individuals that voluntarily leave work cite lack of appreciation as one of the major reasons for leaving. And even though a large majority of employers and supervisors can attest to having shown gratitude to employees that perform well, only about 17 percent of employees report those supervisors do a good job at appreciating them.

What brings about this disconnect?

Employee Recognition Programs

Almost all employers have some form of employee recognition program, where employees and best performers are recognized and rewarded for their good work. Where most employers get it wrong is that these programs rarely appreciate, but rather recognize and reward. The motivation gained from such programs is short-lived, and soon work issues crop up again.

As well intentioned as these programs are, they have their setbacks. Many times, recognition programs are generic and impersonal. Generic meaning that the nature of the rewards and, at times, sentiment are exactly the same, year in and year out (certificates, gift cards, vouchers, cash rewards, electronic gadgets, and so on), and everyone is bound to get the same gift. This makes the gesture feel impersonal.

Recognition programs are also infrequent. These activities tend to be held at certain times of the year, and the rest of the time employees have to find the motivation to work from other sources.

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About Personal Branding Blog

The Personal Branding Blog offers branding and career advice from Dan Schawbel and his team of experts. The blog helps professionals learn how to build a powerful brand that they can use as their competitive edge while searching for a job, advancing at work or with their own businesses. With thousands of articles, it has helped millions of readers since 2007. The blog was named by Forbes in both 2012 and 2013 as a "Top Website for Your Career" and it made CareerBuilder.com's "6 Job Blogs You Should Be Reading."

  • Paul White

    Maria, thanks for your excellent summary of our book. As I work with companies and organizations across the country, I continue to be amazed at the levels of cynicism, sarcasm & apathy in response to traditional employee engagement programs — largely because they are not viewed by employees as genuine or about them personally. Fortunately, our emphasis in helping managers, supervisors & colleagues learn how to communicate authentic appreciation is making a difference!

    Paul White, PhD
    co-author, The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace

    • MariaElenaDuron

      Hello Paul,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read my article and to provide your insights. Thankful for your focus on helping others, especially leaders, understand the importance of authentic appreciation!
      Gratefully,
      Maria Elena