From employee productivity and engagement to better on-boarding experiences and longer retention rates at jobs, employers are starting to figure out that the simple words “thank you” or “great job” are having a much bigger impact then they imagine. “Your employees come first. And if you treat your employees right, guess what? Your customers come back, and that makes your shareholders happy. Start with employees and the rest follows from that.” – Herb Kelleher, CEO of Southwest Airlines.

Appreciation inspires great work
People invest hours a week into their jobs. It goes far more than a pay check, it’s aligning with a mission to provide great work. But quality of work can be impacted when employees are not at their best. The work environment is important for employees to maximize their potential and bring forth their best efforts in a competitive working environment. An attitude of appreciation can completely change the work culture. According to Forbes, “Recognition is the #1 thing employees say their manager could give them to inspire them to produce great work… nothing else comes close – not even higher pay, promotion, autonomy or training.” Providing an inspiring work culture can be achievable and it’s easier to obtain than imagined.

Great manager relationships are worth more than a 5% bonus
Sounds crazy, after all who wouldn’t want a bonus? Yet research shows that employees prefer better relationships with their managers rather than a 5% salary bonus. Improving relationships at work has a stronger significance for employees and provides a space of trust. A survey conducted by the Harvard Business Review revealed that 58% of employees trust strangers outside the company more than their own boss. Yikes, that’s a pretty big percentage. As a manager, it is important to cultivate that trust within employee relationships. It creates unity and allows workers to feel as though they are on the same team. The sense of belonging adds a touch of innovation because employees now see it as a mission to perform well to help the team succeed. They take ownership of their role in the company and are 33% more likely to proactively generate new ideas.

Appreciation delivers great innovative ideas
Words can also impact quality of work. It may sound like a stretch, but it’s proven to be true in the workplace. Receiving recognition at work can generate 2x as many ideas per month. Creating an environment in which employees feel they can thrive in not only helps their well-being, but also elevates productivity in the company. When employees are appreciated, they feel less stressed and feel more able to take on new tasks. As a manager or company leader, what are some ways you can create that environment for those who work under your care?

Demonstrating appreciation in the workplace has rippling effects in creating valuable customer experience. Employees are more willing to spread positive feelings with others, whether that’s in the company or serving customers who are interacting with the company. The term “Raving Fan” shouldn’t just apply to satisfied customers, but also valuable employees; after all, they know the company best. As Forbes magazine best said it, “The key to achieving customer happiness, as in customers who want to do business with you again and again, is to focus on employee happiness first.”

Want Happy Employees? Follow Your Customer Journey Map, is a great blog post written by our Chief Revenue Officer, Margaret Wise. Read this blog for some thought leadership and tips on how to create a positive work environment and happy employees.