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The Real Secret to Feeling Appreciated at Work

Together we can inspire appreciation
*Actual appreciation from HeyTaco! shown above

Did you know not feeling appreciated is one of the top reasons people leave their jobs?

I know I’ve quit my fair share of jobs because I didn’t feel appreciated. And I’m sure we’ve all had calls from upset family and friends about not feeling appreciated. So why do so many of us feel underappreciated at work?

Over the last year, we’ve had quite the journey at our company HeyTaco! trying to answer this question. At first we thought it was because we weren’t recognizing each others’ work. So we labeled HeyTaco! as a tool to help people recognize each other in a fun way. But it turned out recognition was only one factor for helping others feel appreciated.

The key to feeling appreciated—it’s you

As luck would have it, we stumbled across our answer during a lively conversion with our colleague Gary. Gary went on a recognition rant and said something that changed our thinking. He said recognition is only one piece of the puzzle. What’s more important is knowing people at work care about you as a person.

This set off a few light bulbs and led us to Mike Robbins, an appreciation expert. We read his book, watched his videos, and afterwards we knew Gary was on to something.

We’d talked to so many people and poured over countless research documents. Mike was the first person we saw to really put the appreciation puzzle together. So we decided to take a long shot and ask him to have a call and guess what? He said yes.

Finally we had found it

On one of our calls we asked Mike how he helped people feel more appreciated. He said nothing about teaching people rules or exact processes to show appreciation. What he’s good at is inspiring people to show more appreciation themselves.

These chats with Mike led to our belief HeyTaco! can’t make you or your team feel appreciated, but it can inspire you and your team to show more appreciation. Because at the end of the day appreciation is a two-way street. You have to show it to get it.

So the secret is simple, we should focus on showing more appreciation ourselves. If we’re all waiting for someone else to do it, then few of us will feel appreciated. That’s why our mission is to inspire people all across the world to show more appreciation.

4 ways you can show appreciation

In the spirit of showing appreciation, here’s four ways to spread appreciation on your team.

    Recognize the work we do and our accomplishments

  • Almost everyone has had the thankless job, no act is too small for a thank you. This is the easiest form of appreciation to show.
  • Recognize who we are and our strengths

  • Be sure to praise people’s talents and behaviors. Tell your co-worker they’re a great communicator or you love their positive attitude. Remember to praise a specific behavior or personality trait.
  • Show people you care

  • Have you ever felt like your team knew almost nothing about you, like you were an expendable tool? It’s important we get to know a little about and care for each other. You should know if a co-worker is having a rough time. Asking if they need help can mean the world to them and forge a lasting relationship. Great teams know their team members are there for them.
  • Celebrate individual and group accomplishments

  • The act of celebrating as a team or individual is a very healthy habit. Just ask a sports psychologist or look at the research on gratitude. It’s something that’s easy to forget but a lot of fun to do.

Our lives our much better when those around us are appreciative in all or some of the ways above. So we hope we can inspire you and your team to show more appreciation. Because the more we all show, the more we’ll all feel appreciated. Plus, we promise if you do, it’ll feel pretty great.

You can follow HeyTaco! on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn to see what’s inspiring us in product strategy, talent development, business strategy, leadership, tacos, and more!