I was on the phone with one of my clients when she said to me “I quit my job. I quit after working for him for 3.5 years. He did not appreciate me or appreciate anything I have done for him.” This statement made me think about appreciation in relationships in general and not only at the workplace. However, in today’s blog, I’ll be focusing on appreciation relationships at the workplace and in future blogs, I’ll be talking some more about appreciation in relationships at home. My client has been working for her very famous boss who owned a private business in the fashion industry. She was working as a model as well as a magazine writer covering his events. She admired her boss and looked up to him and wanted to be as successful as him in this industry.
Her boss kept her on short contracts, gave her minimum wage with no benefits, and kept telling her what an amazing job she was doing. In the beginning, she wanted the job to get to where she wanted to be and out of admiration to her boss. She put up with long hours of work and spending money out of her own pocket traveling between cities to cover his fashion shows. After years of hard work and seeing how he was promoting others with no credentials and no experience while all she was hearing from him was talk and no action, she quit her job.
Now, who is the loser in this situation? Is it the employer or the employee?
One of the top reasons that employees leave their jobs is not being appreciated by their employers. My client is an amazing person with many gifts, talents and interpersonal skills like no one else. Had the employer appreciated her, he would be the winner. It takes much less effort and time to retain employees rather than searching for new ones, training them, be part of a team, and then getting them to integrate into the company’s culture.
But how can employers do so when the company’s main goal is to generate revenue and keep their employees achieving set targets. In a highly competitive society and eagerness to make more and more profits, employers care more about performance, productivity, and sales goals rather than about the people that get them to where they want to be.
If you drive a Ferrari, the symbol of speed, wealth, and luxury, you make sure it is well maintained and in high performance at all times. If you own a Ferrari, you shower it with love, treat it with tenderness, and protect it from being scratched. When employers hire employees, they have on hand a very expensive commodity, much more expensive than Ferrari so why is it that employers do not shower their employees with respect, appreciation, allow them the freedom of expression, and offer stimulation to them to invest in the employee’s human potential and in the company’s future.
With half of Canadians and Americans being unhappy with their jobs, employers need to act quickly to rectify this phenomenon. One of the things that employers can implement immediately and won’t cost them much is to meet their employees’ core needs and one of them is “appreciation.” But how could that be? Does appreciation mean the same thing to everyone? How can you appreciate your employees? Do you give them a raise, a praise, or promote them?
According to Hays Canada president Rowan O’Grady, “The majority of Canada’s working population believes fit is important, but when we investigated further, we learned that few actually know what that means.” A fit can be determined by four things: “work ethic, social behaviour, office conformity and the ability to connect with a team’s working style,” he continues to say. This is where we need to go back and learn more about an individuals’ core temperaments and the language that speaks most to people in order to find the goodness of fit.
There are four basic types of temperaments (more on this in an upcoming blog). Each person has a primary temperament that drives his/her needs, fears, goals, and behavior which makes him/her either a good fit or not in a certain environment. Appreciation is one of those core traits and it may not mean the same to everyone and that is where the employer needs to pay more attention to the language the employee speaks and how he/she wants to be appreciated. While one employee thrives on praise and words of affirmation, another one thrives on being of service and supporting the team, while a third one thrives on being in a leadership role.
In a very hectic and stressful work environment, supervisors and managers must make more effort to connect with their employees and speak their language should they want to keep turn over rates low and productivity high. A few minutes spent today on doing so, will save the company tons of losses in the hiring process in the future so it may well be the best few minutes spent on the job to increase productivity, job satisfaction, and have happy employees that are loyal to the company.
It is in our human nature to be looking for appreciation but certain people’s traits value appreciation more than others. Appreciation comes in many ways and it is valued by some, more than others. For example, my client has the Supporter trait where one of her core needs is appreciation. Her employer could have appreciated her in many ways including giving her a long-term contract, benefits, put her in an empowerment position to do more and feel more accomplished. It does not matter to her what form of appreciation she receives as long as she felt appreciated because one of her other traits is adaptability and she would have been just fine with any of the appreciation methods mentioned above. The point that I am trying to make is that her need to be appreciated was not met and was not acknowledged by her boss which led her to leave the job.
If the majority of workers believe in the importance of a good fit at the workplace, then employers must learn more about the core needs of their employees while employees need to learn more about their own core needs so they can work in jobs that meet their needs. Once both understand the principle of the goodness of fit, only and only then, employers will stop hiring anyone for the sake of filling positions and getting the job done (49% of employers hire people despite first negative impression which ends up costing companies anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000), and employees will stop working in jobs that are not a good fit for them and be happy (50% of people are not happy with their jobs).
As an employer, what other needs are you not meeting for your employers? As an employee, do you know what are your core needs so you can find the right fit for your employment and be one of the other half happy employees at work?
If you are an employer and want to learn more about your employees’ core traits, needs, values, and stressors to build a compatible team or if you are an employee that is not happy with your employer and you want to learn more about yourself and find a good fit for you at work and at home contact me today at firstname.lastname@example.org.