The Importance of Appreciation in the Work Place
Appreciation is the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something. Traditional mentality argues that work interactions are more economically and financially driven than emotionally driven. Your employer thanks you for doing your job with a paycheck and you thank him/her in turn by doing your job. According to one study, 35% of respondents believed that expressing gratitude would lead to employees taking advantage of them. This, however, could not be further from the truth. Gratitude can help improve not just your mind but also your body. Researchers are finding that positive behaviors like gratitude can improve the cardiovascular and immune function. One study links gratefulness with improved heart, pulse, and respiration rates as well as reduced levels of stress. The study even suggests it may help you to live longer.
Elsewhere in American life, people say “thank you” to acknowledge the good things they get from others, especially when they give out of the goodness of their hearts but not at work. According to a survey of 2,000 Americans released earlier this year by the John Templeton Foundation, people are less likely to feel or express gratitude at work than anyplace else.
It’s not that people don’t crave gratitude at work, both giving and receiving. The majority reported that hearing “thank you” at work motivated them and made them feel good. “Thank you” doesn’t cost a dime, and it has measurably beneficial effects. In a series of four experiments, psychologists found that “thank you” from a supervisor gave people a strong sense of both self-worth and self-efficacy. This same study also reveals that the expression of gratitude has a spillover effect: Individuals become more trusting with each other, and more likely to help each other out.
But here comes the really messed up part: Almost all respondents reported that saying “thank you” to colleagues “makes me feel happier and more fulfilled” – but on a given day, only 10% act on that impulse. A stunning 60% said they “either never express gratitude at work or do so perhaps once a year”.
In short, it is said that Americans actively suppress gratitude on the job, even to the point of robbing themselves of happiness.
Hopefully this statement is not as true at Tanner as at other work places but certainly there is room for improvement. People like being appreciated for who they are and what they do. It costs you little to express sincere appreciation but it can make someone else happy. Making someone else happy will make you happy. It is truly a win/win situation.