We ran a poll on Twitter asking our followers asking how often their team colleagues recognised them with a thank you. Overwhelmingly, 54% confirmed that saying thank you does not happen frequently enough.
So why is it that openly praising or expressing appreciation to other people at work is not innate in all of us?
Our Employee Engagement Director Phil Williams explains:
The obvious answer is that we’re not fluent in the language of positive emotions in the workplace. We’re so unaccustomed to sharing them that we don’t always feel comfortable doing so. Heartfelt appreciation is a muscle we’ve not spent much time building, or felt encouraged to build.
Oddly, we’re often more experienced at expressing negative emotions — reactively and defensively, and often without appreciating their corrosive impact on others until much later, if we do at all.
In the workplace itself, organisational psychologist Marcial Losada has found that amongst high-performing teams, the expression of positive feedback outweighs that of negative feedback by a ratio of 5.6 to 1. By contrast, low-performing teams have a ratio of 0.36 to 1.
What small steps can be taken to remedy this?
- Make it a priority to notice what others are doing right.
- Be appreciative
Authentically appreciating others will not only make you feel better about yourself, it will also increase the likelihood they’ll invest more into their work, and in you. The human instinct for reciprocity runs deep.
To find out more about how BI WORLDWIDE helps organisations in this area, get in touch.