The Importance of Appreciation and Recognition

In personal and in business relationships people respond well to being noticed and appreciated for their efforts and input. It is a fact that many people respond better to a ‘thank you’ than to any other type of inducement. I have worked with many stressed executives who decide to leave extremely well paid jobs because no matter how hard they work, however many hours they put in or contracts they win, no one ever seems to notice or appreciate their efforts. They find that type of environment soul destroying.

Surely appreciation and recognition are plain good manners. Is it not important to say ‘thank you’ if someone has worked hard or done a good job for us ? In personal relationships, too, it is important to acknowledge when someone has done something for us, even if they do it as a regular part of their routine. Thanking someone for cooking us dinner, or ironing our clothes, or filling our car with petrol may seem unnecessary, but it often makes a huge difference to how the other person feels, as in important and respected. It can make the difference between feeling valued or feeling taken for granted.

Positive strokes are an important way of recognising someones’ efforts too, but they need to be unconditional to really make their mark. An unconditional positive stroke says, ‘thank you for a good job, well done, I appreciate it’. When it is conditional then there is a rider attached to the praise like, ‘try and keep up the standards in future‘, or ‘why not do this well all the time’. That type of comment does not have the same feel good factor to it, as it is not given as generously.

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It is important to keep people motivated and enthusiastic in every area of their lives. Praise and thanks are important tools to use, and they are free to give. Saying something appreciative that sounds true and sincere can make all the difference to the recipient and is a powerful form of encouragement. A person feels more confident in their abilities and skills when someone has praised their efforts and their work. They are more inclined to go that extra mile for someone who values and appreciates them. It builds loyalty.

When times are tougher in business it is important to find an inexpensive way to motivate the work force. Goodwill and company loyalty can generate healthy competition between staff members when they feel motivated to perform better. A picture of the ’employee of the month’ in reception can enthuse and encourage staff to pull out all the stops to win that accolade.

Similarly, turning up at home with a bunch of flowers or a bottle of wine just to say ‘thank you’ or ‘thinking of you’ can make someones’ day really special. It really is the little things that can make all the difference.

Susan Leigh, Counsellor and Hypnotherapist

PhotobucketAbout this author
Susan Leigh
is a long established Counsellor and Hypnotherapist, with over twenty years experience. She is a member of several professional organisations and is committed to a programme of Continuous Professional Development.

She started the practice in 1988 with her husband Frederick, and after being widowed at the age of 39, took over the practice full time.
Prior to working as a Counsellor, Susan worked for many years with a blue chip company and has experienced the stresses of balancing a corporate and personal life. Now she balances writing regularly for many organisations, is a regular contributor to BBC radio and has a thriving Counselling and Hypnotherapy practice. She works with individuals, helping them cope better with the pressures of daily life, works with couples to provide relationship counselling and improve communications, and in business to provide support to staff members and teams. She has had a lot of success working with clients with unexplained infertility in women and also with managing pain in childbirth. Many of her clients have successfully gone on to become pregnant and have a positive experience of giving birth. For more information see

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  • jackie , April 25, 2010

    Great post!

  • Melodramommy , April 25, 2010

    I agree! This is a great article on a topic I have thought lots about. Showing appreciation and it's fruitfulness not only reaps great rewards in the workplace, but I have noticed it as a teacher with students and also with my children. This is one to remember as we parent.

  • Dorothy , April 26, 2010

    Wonderful post, there is no better motivator then appreciation and often people just don't take the time to give it.

    Thanks for giving us the idea to give someone we care about a great compliment and acknowledgment for their work.

    Dorothy from grammology

  • Debbie&apos;s L&apos;Bri , April 28, 2010

    We all crave appreciation, but so many people do not think outside themselves anymore. Thanks for the article

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