Thumbs Up on White Background

Appreciation and reward are major motivating factors for human beings, irrespective of their age. Humans tend to react more positively from the time they are children and gain confidence to attempt new tasks. However many of us fail to understand the power of appreciation as we grow up. Appreciation can lead to excellence and even spark innovation. Here’s how you can incorporate it into your daily lives and work.

By Prathima.G.Kulkarni

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”

All human beings want to be told positive things about their deeds and to receive appreciation for tasks achieved, as it will make them feel good and enthuse them in what they are doing. Appreciation can be explained as recognition and celebration of good qualities or positive traitsof someone. Even simple things like telling someone that they look good or their dress looks great or even a simple encouraging smile are all examples of appreciation.
Due to the fast and busy lives we lead we often tend to get self absorbed that we seldom take time to see what others around us are doing or why they are doing that. Basically, we are closing our eyes to our surroundings, missing out the fine points are the subtleties that characterize day-to-day life. In such a situation where is the opportunity for appreciation?

In our everyday life we come across so many people, like people who help keep our city clean even though it is not their job, people who help us commute around the city and who clean or guard our houses. Most of these people belong to lower economic strata and serve their affluent masters who can afford most good things that life has got to offer. It is okay that they are doing it for a livelihood. But is it too much to ask for to smile at them, enquire after their welfare and respect them for what they are? That will keep them happy and motivated.

When people are not appreciated they lack motivation to put in that extra bit. Here’s how lack of appreciation can pan out.

• They get into arguments over little things
• They become emotional and quiet
• They don’t ask for your opinion any more
• They make plans and execute them without even consulting you
• They are not enthusiastic about your special occasions and might end up doing a sloppy job of whatever they are supposed to do.
• Their concentration levels might go down having a negative impact on the quality of work delivered or service performed.

Appreciation is important both at home and at work. Here are some of the things that can be done to appreciate people around you at home and at work.

• If it is a coworker, a friend or a family member surprise them with a lunch or a gift
• At work even smaller accomplishments matter. Appreciation of some form, even if there is no monetary value to it can go a long way.
• When in public appreciate those who keep our surroundings clean, our houses safe and provide us various services that fall under the category `menial tasks’. A pleasant chat, a smile and some appreciation can go a long way.

Various studies show that employees consider that lack of appreciation of the work that they do as the biggest and most prominent hindrance, which affects their productivity. There is a psychological saying that when a person is appreciated he or she will be happy and concentrate on work to deliver better or more effective performance. Appreciation improves workplace morale, which helps create a positive ripple effect. An employee who feels appreciated is highly likely to show appreciation to his or her co-workers and other team members too.
Appreciation should be a daily practice, which can be incorporated into our personal lives and work by providing positive feedback and encouraging people for the good work. While providing efficiency or work related feedback you can use the sandwich method. The sandwich method of feedback is a combination of positive, need of the hour issues and ends on a positive note. Take the example of an employee not doing so good a job and you call him for a chat. Instead of straightaway pointing out the negatives in his work, look at the employee’s positives and then advise improvements and point out areas where he or she can do better. End the conversation with a positive statement.
Incorporate appreciation into your social DNA and see how things turn out for you.