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Recognizing Regina

Do you like to hear “thank you”, or receive a high-five from your manager? Or maybe find a candy bar or a coffee gift card on your desk? Most of us feel appreciated when we receive some form of recognition from our leaders and coworkers! But did you know that 81% of business leaders say that recognition and appreciation are not priorities for their organization? My friends, this needs to change. 


Making authentic human connection and showing those around us that we appreciate them can help employees feel at least three times as connected to their peers and the culture at work, and upwards of 30% will stay at an organization for five or more years. To show you what I mean, let’s look at an example!



Regina is a stellar employee. She shows up on time, turns in her work before deadlines, takes up new initiatives as they come around, assists her coworkers when they seem to be struggling, and stays up to date on her expectations. She exemplifies the core values and goes above and beyond! She is beloved by her coworkers and leaders alike. 


After working with her team for two years, starting to feel demotivated. As the busy season kicks in, she starts focusing on only her work, stays at her desk instead of chatting with her team, and isn’t showing initiative on new projects.  



Let’s jump to Apollo - Regina’s leader. Apollo knows that in the workplace, fatigue and burnout can build up when employees and managers don’t feel appreciated for their efforts, but once busy season hits, which seems like all the time now, there just isn’t extra time. He hasn’t taken any moments to stop and thank his team for all the work they have been pouring into their projects.  


As this busy(er) season has started he notices Regina backing off from work. She isn’t jumping into her work like she used to, so he asks her into his office to talk about it. After an open and honest conversation, he realizes that Regina, and likely the whole team, could use a boost! Regina reminded him that she would like to be told “thank you” every once and a while, and she appreciates little gifts. He remembers Ryan likes to share treats around the office, and Kyle often likes to take people to lunch. 


So, he gets to work using his knowledge of the five languages of appreciation. He writes handwritten notes for his words of affirmation coworkers. He brings in the favorite snacks of his receiving gifts coworkers. He makes sure they’re ok with it, and then starts high-fiving or fist- bumping his physical touch coworkers. He brings in lunch and sits and chats about not- work with his quality time coworkers. He offers to send a meeting recording and notes to his acts of service coworkers that don’t really need to sit in on the whole meeting. 


Over the course of the next few weeks, the entire team seems happier and more engaged. Regina is starting to initiate meetings and is floating around the office helping out again.  


As Apollo reflects on the lack of appreciation within his team, he sees the benefits to morale and productivity, and he doesn’t want to lose the traction they’ve gained together.  So, to keep up the momentum, he takes a few minutes in a team meeting to share a few key things about showing appreciation, and he encourages the whole team to participate on an ongoing basis! He reminds them that appreciation should be… 



He reminds everyone that recognition once is not enough! Appreciation should be consistent and simply part of who they are. As they continue to practice and get better, it will become easier and second nature!  



Apollo encourages everyone to talk about how they most feel appreciated, so that others can show them appreciation in a way that resonates with them.  



Apollo reminds everyone to make sure that when they express appreciation, they should do so with sincerity – if they don’t mean it, don’t say it.  Authentic, genuine appreciation lasts.  Lip service doesn’t do any good at all.  


Fast forward another six months.  The team has a habit of expressing appreciation on a regular cadence, in a genuine way, personalized to the appreciation language of each person.  It didn’t need to be a big formal program set out by HR; it didn’t need to be an organizational mandate; it was something that each person could do individually, that a team leader could help encourage and support, and that made better workdays.  All it took was one person noticing a need and taking that first step to make a positive impact. 


Whether you’re just looking to help your coworkers, a manager with a team to lead, or an executive guiding a whole division, your decision to show genuine appreciation can only help make workdays better. What success have you had with showing appreciation in your workplace? 


Care to learn more?  Check out this report from Work Human for insights on transforming workplaces through recognition! Need help? We’re happy to engage!


Take a look at this on demand training to help you find tactical, practical steps to help those around you feel valued. 





Topics: Sinikka Waugh, Communication & Collaboration, Leadership & Influence

Sinikka Waugh

About the Author

Sinikka Waugh

Sinikka Waugh is a recognized leader in understanding people and in adapting tools, techniques, and processes to meet the demands of the situation at hand. Since 2006, Sinikka has provided compassionate leadership in transformation initiatives. When she isn’t in front of a class, she enjoys putting her background in English and French Literature to work, by writing blogs about the subjects she teaches every day. Are you ready? If you are, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! contactus@yourclearnextstep.com








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