Fear of Appreciation

appreciation

A simple thank you by your boss, or a small token of remembrance do wonders to the moral of employees and helps create a cohesive team. This helps a team go that extra mile and deliver great results. Everyone like being appreciated and we have enough good reasons for it, like:

  • People think that they are being valued
  • They think that someone is seeing them
  • They think that people like them
  • It deepens a sense of meaning to the work we do
  • It connects us to the work we do

Now here comes a tricky part for the people who have to appreciate. When, where and how much to appreciate, where to draw a line so that it doesn’t become normal. Appreciation should always be something which should be earned and no something which is a daily thing. If it becomes a daily thing then people tend to take it for granted and the purpose of it is lost.

In today’s competitive and fast paced world everyone tries to give their best in professional life. People extend their limits and try to do things never done before, now this requires appreciation but, when this becomes a day-to-day thing, for a manager it becomes difficult.

I would like to share a real-life story (names changed) on the same. Mr. Mohit was a very hard-working person and he always used to go an extra mile to get things done. In the first phase of his career, he excelled and people appreciated him very much. But with every appreciation he got his aspirations increased. For his manager, he was always a star performer and he never gave any objective feedback to him on how he can go to next level. Now when appraisals came Mohit had very high hopes as he always thought he was the best and there was nothing to improve. During the process, the manager was in fix about how do I make sure he feels rewarded, but I cannot promote as he lacks these three things which were never told him before.

This is precisely every people manager go through. Once this happens a “Fear of Appreciation” creeps up in any people manager’s mind and they become vary of appreciating people till they think something extraordinary has happened which in turn sometimes hurt people who even after so much effort I am not being appreciated.

The way out of this is not stopping appreciation but in addition, an objective feedback to the team from time to time helps the team grow and make sure that the expectations are realistic.