Guest Blog: Employees stay motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation

By Davis Miller

Recent studies show that over 80% of employees are not happy at work and they're not motivated to do their jobs because they don't feel appreciated by their bosses. It's important for managers and supervisors to show gratitude toward employees otherwise they won't have a good reason to excel and help their companies thrive. Although financial incentives are more than welcomed, it's not always about the money. Happy employees are those that work in a pleasant environment. A cheerful office, an upbeat boss, and overall team spirit can be a lot more important than a six figure salary with no free time and lots of stress.

How can bosses show appreciation?

The easiest way for a manager to showcase appreciation toward employees is to reward them often. We're not referring to money; sometimes a nice dinner out after a hard working week should suffice. Employees want to socialize, they want to feel part of a team, and ultimately, they want to be valued for their work. A spa day, a 2-day vacation, or just a "good job" every once in a while is all you need to make your people feel appreciated.

Companies that want to increase productivity and retain their employees should find a way to make them happy and keep them engaged. Engaged workers have a reason to achieve greatness; they're motivated, driven, and they would anything to help their organisation succeed. As a manager, you want to your employees to be motivated to perform their best. They will get more done, which means better results for your team, and the entire company too. One important factor in keeping your employees motivated, and keeping their productivity up, is simple appreciation. The fact is that if people think their efforts are not valued, they will not try as hard. When their boss shows appreciation, then employees tend to work harder. Here are four tips that can make a big difference to the people on your team.

Make employees feel special

While you want to encourage teamwork, you don’t want all of your employees to feel like just another replaceable cog in the system. If you go out of your way to acknowledge their particular skills, or something special they did that nobody else did, it will make them feel like they are making a unique contribution to the team and to their projects. 

Think about what somebody is really good at, and mention it in conversation with them. For instance, “That project report you put together was excellent - very thorough and well organized. I would love it if you could do this for our other projects, too.” 

Let employees know others rely on them, also

You’re the boss, so your team members know that you have expectations of them. What they may not realize is how their work relates to other people, and how others inside and outside your organization are relying on them, too. Whenever you have a chance to let them know how their work has impacted someone else positively, take a few minutes to share the appreciation.

For instance, if the VP of Marketing tells you that they really appreciate the analysis work your team did for their big project proposal, pass along those good words to the individuals on your staff who were involved. They get double appreciation - from you and from the VP of Marketing as well, and they can see how their job is important to the company.

Keep employees challenged

Every job has its repetitive tasks, and not-so-glamorous duties. The key is to balance these with more challenging assignments that will make employees live up to their potential. When you give an employee a project that makes them stretch their abilities, they will put in the extra effort to reach those goals.

A good way to approach this is to acknowledge their abilities and challenges when assigning the new project. For instance, “You’ve did such a good job on that last project, I think you’re ready for this new one. It has some challenging aspects that you haven’t had to deal with before, but I am confident you’ll be able to handle it.” You can recognise the good work of your entire team, by having a pizza party or taking them out for lunch. While that is great for boosting team spirit, you need to also recognize people individually, too. That’s what makes them feel that their personal contribution is valued.