The terms appreciation and recognition might seem interchangeable. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and most enjoy recognition for their efforts. Although these words are both important to the productivity and morale at the workplace, they have vastly different meanings. Let’s explore.
Recognition is the act of giving positive feedback based on results or performance. Recognition can be formal in the way of an award, a bonus, promotion or raise. It can also be informal in the way of a thank you – either verbal or a handwritten note. Regardless of the method, recognition is meaningful as long it is timely and genuine. It can also be motivational and exciting since most all people like to have a pat on the back for good work.
Like most good things, recognition has its challenges. Recognition is based on results, so it is conditional. Next, it is based on what has already happened, so it is in the past tense – old news. Recognition is often scarce since it comes from the top down. The leaders in a business are often reluctant to hand out too much recognition, because if everyone is receiving it, it then loses its value. And finally, too much recognition is never going to happen in the form of bonuses or raises because in the end, money doesn’t buy happiness.
According on one Harvard Business Review article 1 , “While recognition that includes monetary compensation can be great, researchers from the London School of Economics found that financial incentives can actually backfire when it comes to motivating employees. According to an analysis of 51 experiments, ‘these incentives may reduce an employee’s natural inclination to complete a task and derive pleasure from doing so.’”
Conversely, appreciation is about acknowledging a person’s natural value, not their achievements. It’s their worth as a colleague and a human being. Simply put, recognition honors what people do; appreciation honors who people are.
Even highly motivated, wonderfully talented people fail from time to time. Some things are simply out of their control. That doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate their God-given talents, the efforts they put forth to a project, the camaraderie they bring to team or an endless list of other attributes they offer. That is why it is so vital to show appreciation on a more regular basis than it is to hand out recognition so freely.
“And when we show appreciation to our colleagues, customers, managers, and partners, we’re more likely to build trust and connect,” according the HBR article.
Here are few simple ways to show others your appreciation.
Listen. Now more than ever this is so important, and it is so simple. Put down your phone or tablet, turn away from your computer and just focus and listen to them. During this time of isolation and lockdown, some people have not been able to share their thoughts, so take the time to listen and be present.
Tell people what you value about them. This should be genuine and proactive. Don’t wait to pay a compliment until you need something, or someone has done a favor for you. Make it a habit to share one positive thing with one person a day, and you will start to see how the attitudes around you will lift and change for the better.
Check-in. Once again, it might be hard to see everyone you’re accustomed to seeing, but you can check in with a phone call, text or personal note. As Teddy Roosevelt said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Show that you care by checking in, regardless if it is with a colleague, customer, employee, relative or friend. Everyone has 10 minutes to spare and the person you are checking in on will feel more appreciated than you will know.
One employee appreciation survey revealed that 53% of people said feeling more appreciation from their boss would help them stay longer at their company, that is why it is important for supervisors to show appreciation for others, not just peers.
Appreciation and recognition. They are both important when we are in the business of working with people. Showing appreciation should become part of our daily routine. Find at least three people to show appreciation for during your day; make their day better and it will make you feel better too. Save recognition for those who go the extra mile. Make sure it is timely and well received. Giving recognition when it is earned will make a big difference.
– Source: https://hbr.org/2019/11/why-employees-need-both-recognition-andappreciation?autocomplete=true