"The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated." William James
Undercover Boss is one of my favorite television shows. For those of you who have not seen the show, it takes a CEO or other high level executive of a large company and places them under cover in their own company. This gives the executive a better view of what is going on in the organization from a ground level perspective.
In one of the last episodes the executive of one of the featured companies said that he went undercover to see what could be done to make the company more profitable and efficient. However, after meeting and working with the people in his organization he quickly recognized that it was more the people and not necessarily the process that makes a company successful.
During the show there is a segment when the executive speaks directly to the camera and gives his/her observations on how the day went. During this time, most have an epiphany that their organization is made up of many hard working and dedicated workers whose work goes unheralded. They have a greater appreciation for the “spokes in the wheel.” The employees become more than a number. There’s a face and a story to everyone working in the company.
In the final segment of the program all of the employees featured during the show are brought to headquarters, not realizing they are going to meet the undercover boss. In just about every case the undercover boss surprises the employee with either a promotion, money to donate to charity, a family vacation or some other form of appreciation. When interviewing the employee after meeting with their boss, the one thing that seems most meaningful to them is how important it is to be appreciated. More than money or a promotion employees want to feel and know they are appreciated.
Why is genuine appreciation so important? It lets your employees know that they are valued and that you really care for them. Appreciation recognizes the value and contribution of the people in your organization. Gratitude authentically expressed is critical to the continuous engagement of the employees within a company.
If you are a leader in your company, do you feel appreciated? If not, how does it make you feel?