These days, it’s paramount to recognize the one thing that matters most to employees: what motivates them. It’s their feeling that they are appreciated. Validating it triggers improved job satisfaction and, particularly important, employee retention.
That’s according to Doug Claffey, founder of the Philadelphia-based research firm Energage, which last year surveyed more than 2 million employees in 7,000-plus organizations. And while the coronavirus pandemic was nowhere in sight at the time of survey, the results may be more applicable than ever.
First, the surveys did not define “appreciation.” Employees were not told how or in what ways they should gauge their feelings about it, Claffey revealed in a story he wrote for the Tampa Bay Times. They were asked to use their own definition. One thing that came through loud and clearwas their indication they can readily distinguish whether any show of appreciation is authentic or simply lip service.
There are multiple ways a dealership can show appreciation. For example, reward and recognition. This form usually focuses on output and is likely made known through financial incentives. Other forms of appreciation and recognition can be for special events, such as a major service anniversary (a lunch, a special presentation, a personalized gift, etc.)
“The simplest and sometimes most effective form of appreciation,” writes Claffey, “is giving positive feedback or praise. ‘Thank you for your effort,’ or ‘You’re doing a really good job’ goes a long way.” And Claffey emphasizes praise delivered in person is always best, but a sincere handwritten note is the next best thing.
Appreciation can take different forms depending on the organization, and each can boast a unique meaning to a recipient. For example, co-workers thanking and showing appreciation for jobs well done by others in the dealership or in other departments.
Equally important, the recognition by a department manager of a team member’s role can be huge. “Employees like to know their manager understands and values their contribution,” notesClaffey.
Then there’s the top leader. Easily identified in any marine dealership, the leader recognizes and highlights extra efforts and successes, clearly demonstrating to all that he or she sees and valuesthe contributions of individuals and teams.
For dealership owners and managers, the daily demands of keeping the business going can be all-consuming, every day in these times. So it’s easy to overlook the importance of taking time to show the appreciation that helps employees feel good about themselves and their job satisfaction.Cultivating a culture of appreciation within the dealership can be the “glue that holds teams together,” urges Claffey.