How To Be A Grateful And Appreciative Leader

As a team member, feeling appreciated beyond the paycheck is important. You put a lot of effort into fulfilling your job requirements, finding things to do, and making the organization money. The daily grind can be mind-numbing.

Add to that working for a leader who doesn’t show appreciation can destroy any motivation they have to continue working hard. As the leader, it falls on you to make sure your people know that you are grateful and appreciative of their hard work.

I think back to some of my roles where I had a leader who didn’t show their appreciation. It was just demands for more output. Nary a thank you, great job, or I see you were said. At times, there were even threats despite my best efforts. 

I look back on those days and think about what I longed for as an employee. I wanted to feel appreciated.

These simple gestures can help your team members feel appreciated. But what else can you do to show your appreciation for others?

How To Be A Grateful And Appreciative Leader

Say thank you:

We’re going to start off with an easy one. One of the best ways to show your appreciation for your team members is to tell them thank you. Or some variation of these words.

It could be

  • Keep up the great work
  • You’re doing a fantastic job
  • Your work is making a difference
  • You rock

Find ways to express your appreciation verbally. Your words matter. They can be a well from which people drink.

Learn to express your thankfulness verbally!

Reward your team:

There can be simple ways to express your gratitude. One of those is through a reward system. I’m not saying you have to have a system in place, but that you’re actually rewarding people for a job well done.

Think about the things that you would like done for you. Maybe you’d want a few extra hours of vacation, a bonus, or a date night.

As you think about your appreciation for your team, think of some rewards that might spark their interest. It could be tickets to a basketball game, a donation to their favorite charity, or another form of reward.

One thing to keep in mind… What you see as a reward may not be what they see as a reward. We all have different motivations. Find theirs and reward them with something that aligns with their desires.

Let their boss know (if it’s not you):

See someone doing a great job? Send them an email letting them know you saw it. But, copy in their manager.

Letting them know you saw what they did and then their manager goes a long way. Good deeds don’t always get pushed upward. 

Be the person who pushes gratitude up the chain of command.

State how they’re contributing:

Many people will never know how their work is contributing to the organization. They know that it matters but they don’t know how.

Bring out examples of how their work has changed the organization. Maybe they shared a suggestion to improve productivity. Monitor the change and then let them know that their suggestion raised productivity by 5% and saved the organization X amount of dollars.

Telling them how their work has impacted the organization shows that you are paying attention. That matters!

Talk to them:

Work is the place most people spend the majority of their time. They come in, spend 9-12 hours a day in the office, and then go home. 

There’s a reason people say their coworkers are like family. It’s because they spend so much time with them.

Strike up a conversation. Find out who they are, what they like to do, and what their family is like.

By being a presence in their work-life, you’ll show them that you care about them inside and outside of work.

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