First of all, before I get too much farther into this post I wanted to wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day! No matter how you are celebrating - having a toast to yourself, sharing kind messages with some close friends, spending an evening with a partner, or bashing a piñata - we all deserve to feel loved and cared for. So just in case you haven't heard it today....
The past couple years have been ROUGH! I'm not going to try and sugar coat this one. Most of my clients have experienced some form of burnout, frustration, or overwhelm since the start of the pandemic. A lot of these emotions tie back to the lack of appreciation they feel in the workplace.
Many companies have recognition programs, but they are just missing the mark! These programs are designed to thank you for years of service or provide recognition for achieving certain milestones. While the thought is there, the end result often lacks a demonstration of genuine appreciation. These programs often provide rewards that are generic, ceremonies lack a personal touch, and recognition often emphasizes performance over individual value.
So today we are going to spread a little love! Here are 5 ways you can show someone on your team genuine appreciation this week:
1) Tell Someone Thank You
Has someone on your team been super helpful this week? Tell them thank you!
Thank you messages can be given via email, text, card, or even shared verbally. The key to giving a meaningful thank you is to take time to really reflect on the action. What was the action? What was it about that action that made an impact? How did it make you feel? Be sure to make the thank you personal.
A generic "thank you guys" won't cut it!
"Thank you team for staying late and making sure the presentation was finished in time for the meeting. Your efforts allowed me to properly prepare and deliver a tailored message to management. I wouldn't have had the time to prepare if you all hadn't taken time our of your evenings and I really appreciate your dedication to the success of our team."
2) Praise A Character Trait
Is your boss incredibly intuitive? Let them know! Do you have a team member that is always in a cheerful mood? Show appreciation for their optimistic energy!
One of the things that often gets overlooked in the workplace is genuine appreciation for the traits a person brings to the workplace.
I once had a coworker that went above and beyond to make everyone feel like a valued member of the team. She had a way of making you feel important through her active listening skills and conscious effort to include others in plans. It was so kind! Tell someone in your work circle how their character traits have positively impacted your working environment. They will love feeling seen and valued for being themselves!
3) Grab A Cup Of Coffee
Many of us are still working from home, but that doesn't mean you can't grab a cup of coffee with a coworker! Invite a coworker to the coffee shop down the street or set up a virtual coffee chat just focused on connecting.
There are so many times in our career where we become overwhelmed with our to-do lists and we forget to connect with our team members on a personal level. Our conversations become transactional about projects and deadlines. Take the time this week to connect with one person for 20 minutes. Ask them how their week is going? Are they watching the Olympics? Have they read any good books lately? Just talk to them about life and connect.
4) Help Out A Coworker
Do you have an extra 15 minutes to spare this week? Do you know a coworker that seems overwhelmed? Offer to help out!
One of the key phrases I love to use is, "I have an extra 15 minutes today that I can use to help you with something. Is there something that I can take off your plate?" Sometimes it's as simple as covering a phone line or inbox so your coworker has dedicated time to finish a task. Other times it's placing a phone call to get information that they haven't had a chance to gather. Either way, let you coworker tell you what is most helpful to ensure the appreciation is received.
Quick Tip: Some people love to receive help and others can't stand it. It's important to always ask a coworker before jumping in to help. If they say no thank you, respect the response and move on. They will still be delighted that you offered assistance.
Do you have a coworker that loves iced coffee? (Oh wait that's me!) Do you notice that your boss always eats a certain snack or candy in the afternoon?
Surprise them with their favorite treat!
Spending money on a team member does not need to break the bank! In fact, many expensive gifts given in the workplace are often gift cards or more generic types of recognition gifts. Instead, pay attention to your coworker. Placing their favorite candy on their desk one afternoon will show your coworker you were thinking of them, you know them well enough to identify their favorite treat, and that you value them as an individual. Make it even sweeter by adding a personalized note!
This week I would love for you to try out one of these appreciation tactics with someone you work with! Showing appreciation in the workplace has been shown to uplift both you and the recipient of the appreciation. So go find a coworker and spread a little love!
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