Before being counted as managers, employers, or employees, we are all human and have common expectations irrespective of our paycheck, designation, or work environment. Appreciation is one such natural craving that all humans seek but seldom get. For example, a survey by OGO shows over 82% of US professionals acknowledging a lack of recognition for their contribution at work.
If that doesn’t get you, this will. The 2019 Employee Engagement & Loyalty Statistics had 17% of employees admitting to having a negative outlook towards their employer for recognizing their hard work.
Alarmingly, it doesn’t stop at just a negative impression of you as an employer. A survey conducted by Achievers had 44% of employees admitting the lack of recognition was the prime factor for them to switch jobs. Anyone who has had any role in the human resources management space understands the significance of talent retention-and thus the significance of these statistics, and in turn, of appreciation.
Ever heard of a perfect human? If not, it isn’t surprising how often employers admit to expecting all their employees to be perfect. However, that doesn’t mean employees cannot be pushed into maximizing their abilities.
Smart management teams understand this and use appreciation as a tool to motivate and push employees to reach their potential. As Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, said, “I have always believed that the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers and that people flourish when they are praised.”
In fact, appreciation for the hard work and effort can go a long way in making an employee go the extra mile to become a ‘perfect employee.’ Here’s what some of the greatest personalities and leaders have said about employee appreciation quotes and sayings.
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1. “No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.”
Alfred North Whitehead
2. “No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.”
3. “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.”
Marcus Tullius Cicero
4. “Keep your eyes open and try to catch people in your company doing something right, then praise them for it.”
5. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
6. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
John F. Kennedy
7. “Next to excellence is the appreciation of it.”
William Makepeace Thackeray
8. “A great employee is like a four-leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have.”
9. “I have found that the more I honored others, the more they honored me and the more fulfilling my career became. In the business arena, I have been surrounded by people with awesome skills. The difference between good and great is determined by the mindset you choose to bring to the work. The concept of honor should be part of that mindset.”
10. “If you aren’t in over your head, then how do you know how tall you are?” –T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot
As you sift those ten quotes over in your mind and before you move on to the next ten, here is American author Leo F. Buscaglia waxing about the importance of a timely and well-meaning compliment: “Too often, we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
11. “People make the difference. And one of those people is you. Thank you for making a difference in our company.”
12. “Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”
13. “Take time to appreciate employees, and they will reciprocate in a thousand ways.”
14. “Even a brief interaction can change the way people think about themselves, their leaders, and the future. Each of those many connections you make has the potential to become a high point or a low point in someone’s day.”
15. “If you do not treat people with the respect they deserve, do not expect any commitment to your productivity goals and target.” – Ian Fuhr, founder and CEO of the Sorbet group.
16. “In behavioral economic terms, when we offer recognition, we are acknowledging that the recipients have met a social ideal. They are behaving in a certain manner because they believe the right thing to do. If we then recognize that behavior with praise or appreciation, we offer a confirmation that their behavior is desirable, and do so in a manner that recipients find meaningful.”
17. “Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.”
18. “When a manager recognizes an employee’s behavior, personally and sincerely, both feel proud, gratified, and happy. There’s a human connection that transcends the immediate culture to create a shared bond. The power of this bond is stronger than you might think; indeed, it’s the power that holds together great organizational cultures.”
19. “Correction does much, but encouragement does more.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
20. “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.”
As you let the weight of those quotes sink in, hear our Ronald Reagan, the former US President, who once famously said: “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”
21. “Employees who report receiving recognition and praise within the last seven days show increased productivity, get higher scores from customers, and have better safety records. They’re just more engaged at work.”
22. "Coming together is a beginning... Keeping together is progress... Working together is a success."
23. “When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.”
24. “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.”
Stephen R Covey
25. “Research indicates that workers have three prime needs: Interesting work, recognition for doing a good job, and being let in on things that are going on in the company.”
26. “Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.”
27. “You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
28. “Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”
29. “Make it a habit to tell people to thank you, to express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.”
30. “On a personal level, I send out about 20 thank-you notes a day to staffers, on all levels. And every six weeks, I have lunch with a group of a dozen or so employees, to get their perspective on the business, to address problems, and to get feedback.”
What’s common amid all the employee appreciation quotes is that they illustrate the significance of showing gratitude and how the human touch can make ordinary employees do extraordinary things.
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