My day job recently held our annual Employee Appreciation Day. We had free food, animals from the local humane society, “swag,” and giveaways to enter. As the Editor & Social Media Specialist, it was my job to take photos of the event and post them to social media. It was nice to see our employees able to enjoy a few stress-free minutes. As I participated in the fun, I started thinking about appreciation, both how I show it and how I best receive it.
It’s important that we show those close to us that we appreciate them. But how? It depends on the person we are showing appreciation for and what their love language is. This may take some questioning and deep conversation, but it can help you figure out how to best show others you care. Because the way you best receive it isn’t always the way others receive it.
As I was driving to a client meeting after work, I started thinking about if I felt appreciated from the event. The short answer is no. Not because I despise my job, but because, to me, an event during work hours where employees have to take their break to participate doesn’t scream appreciation, though I recognize it is an effort.
I’m a Words of Affirmation gal. I prefer if someone says “great job!” or even flat out “I appreciate what you do.” (And oddly enough, compliments make me uncomfortable.) Unfortunately, organizations don’t often express appreciation in that way, if they do at all. So over the course of my (short, thus far) career, I’ve had to think about other ways I might feel appreciated.
To be entirely honest, I’m still working on it. Words are such a huge part of who I am and what I do that it’s hard to steer away from them. I have learned, though, a few ways to tell if you are appreciated.
In work, you are given more responsibility or a pay increase.
In relationships of any kind, effort is made to spend time together. There is vulnerability.
Strangers may say “thank you” more than once.
These are things that stick out to me, but they are by no means the only ways you can spot appreciation. Through this, I’ve learned that there are more than a few ways I feel appreciation, even if I can’t quite put my finger on those ways yet. I’m working on it, and that’s all part of the growth process. We learn that we are not static, that we feel different things at different moments, and what works for us in one situation may not work for us in another.
So be mindful of how you show and receive appreciation. And don’t just tell someone you appreciate them, but show them…whatever that means to both of you.
How do you show appreciation? How do you receive it?