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Apr 3, 201812:18 PMThe Gray Area

with Donna Gray

The importance of motivating through appreciation

(page 1 of 2)

O.A. Battista, a Canadian-American chemist and author, said, “People are always motivated by at least two reasons; the one they tell you about, and a secret one.”

Charles M Schwab, the first president of U.S. Steel Corp., said, “I have yet to find a man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism.”

While it’s a proven fact that high levels of motivation lead to more effective, efficient, and productive workers, owners and managers sometimes find themselves struggling to find ways to keep the motivational levels needed to reach business goals.

Management studies reveal that 46% of employees that leave a company do so because they feel unappreciated. They report that their bosses don’t place much importance on them as people and many say they do not receive acknowledgement for the work they do. It’s no secret that praise makes people feel good. Positive feedback brings feelings of pride and pleasure, which contributes to creative thinking, problem solving, and increased productivity.

Today, there’s a shortage of critical talent. Many employers have “Now Hiring” signs in their windows and in some cases are offering hiring bonuses. Good prospective employees are being picky about where they work. They’re looking for employers that are known to engage their team members and demonstrate how valuable their employees are to the company.

An article on says, “We’re becoming a culture in which people expect to be rewarded for drawing breath and taking up space, which makes the job of an HR pro or business leader tasked with employee retention a difficult one indeed.” It goes on to say, “Financial reward is a great thing, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not the equivalent of recognition. Let’s not kid ourselves. It’s a short-term solution. Neither is constant praise of average work. Recognition is a key tool in employee retention programs for a reason: people need more than constructive feedback and positive affirmation. They need recognition of extra effort. They need to ‘feel’ it. This will never go away as a basic human need.”


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