Leveraging Power of Appreciation is a key to boost Employee Morale...

I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among men the greatest asset I possess. The way to develop the best that is in a man is by appreciation and encouragement. ~ Charles Schwab

Appreciation is the key to maintaining the
equilibrium in life. While it is human innate desire to be appreciated, however, I am sometime dismayed to see people not appreciating enough. I learned a very simple rule early my career - look around and catch people doing right things and appreciate them. In corporate I see majority of managers instead do the reverse. They focus their energies on catching people doing the wrong things and on top of it, instead of telling them about the flaws and guiding them then and there, they will hold it in their stomach and pour it out during performance review discussions. It infuriates employees as they are not able to connect the dots thereby manager also failing in commanding the respect.

At the same time, people need to be watchful when they are bestowed with consistent appreciation, they should not let appreciation or pride overwhelm their sensibilities, or in other words, don't let appreciation or adulation get to your head - it is so easy to do so. Revel in it, appreciate it but don't let it take over.

Similarly, when down under, they should not let the feeling of depression overpower their sensibilities, but again appreciate the experiences and lessons that they have gained from their challenges and contexts. Use failures as stepping stone to success. The main reason why people get carried away by the ups and downs is because they lack the understanding to appreciate context and resultant learning's out of it. The contexts & experiences that we go through make us what we are. The way we respond to a situation can transform our outlook of the situation and world. A little bit of technical shift in our outlook can make a world of difference.

It is of utmost importance that Managers in Corporate learn to appreciate; else they will continue to manufacture unhappiness and create stress for their colleagues / sub ordinates . Stress is a result of inflexibility and non acceptance. In other words it is caused by strong attachment and expectations. Peoples strengths garnered through the wisdom from understanding the power of appreciation, and making full use of it (both inward & outward) will take them through the ups and downs, unscathed and unwounded while endearing them to their surroundings. The employee irrespective of generation appreciate not only the positive feedback, however, developmental one as well if given with genuineness and sincerity.

I believe if Managers can take an hour during the week and focus on just appreciating the weeks efforts, it will make helluva lot of difference to employee morale and make employee go beyond normal work approaches and do better and even take up unpopular and challenging assignments. Appreciation does not always mean financial reward, it could come in form of simple "Thank You" note for pat on the back as well.

Margaret Cousins put it beautifully "Appreciation can make a day - even change a life. Your
willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary".


  1. The most effective recognition is catching employees doing good. It's even better if you give employees the ability to "catch" their peers.

  2. One habit Bosses can develop is to maintain team diary where they can write about everytime they know about any good work their subordinates did...

  3. A couple of years ago several executives from Japan visited me in Australia to express their appreciation for the book that I'd written (translated into Japanese), and on which they'd based their business when they started out a decade earlier. That was quite an experience. They told me that the key to the success of their business was appreciation. They don't just let staff know when they appreciate their staff's efforts. Every morning they all gather (staff, managers, owners) and express appreciation for anything in their life that is important for them. It is extraordinary (by western standards) that they spend sometimes an hour in the morning, with each person stating sincerely what they appreciate that day. It could be something as simple as the great dinner their spouse made the previous night, or the taxi driver who got them to a meeting in time. That then flavours their whole day and sets a wonderful mindset. The executives were extraordinary people - very centred, highly aware, authentic. It was an honour simply to be with them for a few days.

  4. Hi Christo, Thanks for sharing. This is quite unusual but we can take a leaf out of it.

  5. This is amazing list like the previous one..
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  6. ARJUN SINGH9:40:00 AM

    Raj, as usual this article of yours is right on the sweet spot. I have just joined an organization and as the new leader have the opportunity to build the culture. I would like one building block to be "appreciation" and am looking for best practices. The best I have seen at this is a bank in America called "M&T" who have put this into leadership goal sheets, and have built a process of cascading appreciation, while managing to retain the spontaneity and naturalness of the feeling ! Gaurav's and Christo's comments are useful, anyone else has other suggestions ?