When a colleague says ‘well done’ or ‘thanks’ we get a little lift – we feel better about ourselves because we know others care about what we’re doing. Appreciation is a typical behavior of happy, high performing teams.
We are a social species, so we seek out social recognition and approval. When people notice the quality of our work, the pride we feel makes us think ‘If I did that; I could do this’ – so we dream bigger and go on to achieve more. In our study of over 20,000 people, feeling appreciated was the third strongest predictor of happiness at work and other research has shown it also enhances employee health and wellbeing.
Our statistical analysis has found that appreciation in the workplace is closely related to fairness and respect and other researchers have found it to be related to feeling secure at work. Research shows that appreciation and gratitude does not just make the receiver happier: it helps the giver, the wider team and the organization. It’s believed that appreciation helps cultivate relationships between colleagues.
Evidence shows that higher performing teams are more positive in the things they say and in the ways that they behave towards each other. Related to this, appreciation at work has also been found to increase creativity of both individual employees, and of teams.
“Psychologists often talk about the need for reciprocity in our relationships. Effectively we all need to receive as well as give. Whilst we are paid to do our work, there is something very human, nourishing even, to be appreciated for the effort we have put in.” Nic Marks, Friday