Christmas and the end of the fiscal year are fast approaching. That has a lot of people thinking about “employee appreciation.” Visions of parties, bonuses, promotions and sugar plum fairies are dancing through senior managers’ heads.
Parties can be a lot of fun, especially when people already feel good about each other and the company. Bonuses and promotions are fantastic, but they can be as elusive as sugar plum fairies as well. That’s okay because while parties, bonuses, and promotions are nice, they don’t always speak “I value you,” as much as you might think.
So, what can a manager give to show appreciation?
Managers, or anyone for that matter, can always give the gift of SUVS. It doesn’t cost much, if anything, at all. In honor of Employee Appreciation Day 2015, the Kronos Workforce Institute commissioned a survey of U.S employees. They found that what most people want in their workplace stocking is recognition for what they do. More than anything else people want others to see and appreciate that they are: 1) doing a good job like 90+ percent of the time, and 2) that their valued talents are contributing to the company’s success.
The Key to SUVs is to See, Understand, and Value People
See the people around you notice how they are made and what they contribute to the work community. This is easier said than done. The busyness of work and preoccupation with our own wants are formidable barriers to noticing others.
Understand: Study people to learn their motives, values, talents, and their Languages of Appreciation. Be curious about what you notice and explore it rather than glossing over it.
Value: Many of us are inclined to critique others, especially when they are not like us. Since there are about 7.3 billion people in the world, this is an inherently flawed approach. We have generational differences, gender differences, personality differences and dozens of different differences! While there are most certainly things that are morally right and wrong, good and bad, better and worse, many of us confuse our likeness as the standard. It is far wiser to look for the beauty in those differences.
Savor people like a fine wine. Just like fine wine, I am told, people are complex. There is much to enjoy about them if you take the time to dwell on their fine qualities.
The great thing about SUVS is that you can’t give it just at the Christmas party or just on Employee Appreciation Day. It takes time to See, Understand, Value and Savor people, and when you do gratitude will flow naturally from you. Hopefully, you will be able express it in a Language of Appreciation that people understand!