How Appreciation Makes For Better Productivity

Boss and EmployeeIf you are in a managerial position you’re probably spending much time trying to work out efficient ways to boost the productivity of the team you lead, devising strategies to motivate people and make them happier. While happiness is a subjective thing, statistics from Gallup show that many employees are so unhappy with their job that they couldn’t be bothered to put anything more than the minimum effort into doing it. Such a negative trend translates into losses from productivity but the good news is that there is a very simple way to restore the balance. It’s a way that works with anyone, not just with managers and employees and it comes down to showing appreciation.

We all like to feel appreciated, at work and at home, but in both places relationships tend to settle into a rut with time, with signs of appreciation no longer granted. In a corporate setting appreciation may not be there from the start. It’s only natural that this should have negative consequences for all parties involved. And while at home we can much more easily share our anxieties and feelings of not being appreciated, such sharing is harder at work, which is why too many managers are unaware of the root of discontent and disengagement among their employees. Now, women are as a rule more compassionate and more finely tuned to the feelings of others, but there are so many other factors that they need to consider in the workplace. It’s hard to focus on being compassionate and understanding of the needs of others when you’re pressed with deadlines and urgent tasks. And yet, putting some effort — and if you think about it the effort won’t be too great — into showing your appreciation for the people that you work with will pay off and it will pay off quickly.

Business leader mentor Simon Reynolds offers three tips for managers who want to improve the productivity of their teams just by being more appreciative. First among these is the rule of three-to-one: three positive interactions to every negative one. This can be tricky, it’s true, if you have too much on your mind to count the number of negative conversations you’ve had with your team lately. So, how about just trying to be positive whenever you can? It’ll be a start and if you regularly remind yourself not to jump straight to criticizing when you talk to your team members, it will get easier with time.

The second tip is to be positive.  Positivity is actually the key when it comes to appreciation. Another tip that Reynolds gives managers is to make sure they always enter the office in a positive way; not frowning and giving death stares left and right, but smiling if possible and fully present. No one likes an absent boss who’s clearly only present in body. Once again, managers have responsibilities and sometimes these responsibilities feel like a burden. Besides, no one can be happy and smiling all the time. Still, treating your team as people (the third tip) — and doing so in in front of as many other people as possible — not as working machines — is also a form of appreciation and it’s really not that difficult. That’s what we all want — to be treated as persons not as objects. When you think about the results from these small gestures, it really is worth the effort.