May 2008

Table of Contents

Message from Pat - Appreciation

Top Ten Ways to Show Appreciation to Employees and Coworkers

Recommended Reads

Hot Links

Quote For Your Day

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Message from Pat - Appreciation

"Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary."

~Margaret Cousins

Think of the last time you received unexpected appreciation. What was said? How did it make you feel about yourself? How did it make you feel about the person giving the appreciation?

Now think of the last time you gave appreciation. What was said? How did it make you feel about yourself? How did the person receiving it feel?

I cannot think of anything that brings more joy to someone than unexpected appreciation. I think it is what most of us are starving for, especially in the work place. Appreciation is a strong motivator. It is a positive motivator and creates a bond between the giver and the receiver.

Great leaders show their appreciation to those that support and assist them. People follow those who appreciate and acknowledge strengths. This is one of the best ways to increase productivity.

I once led a major computer upgrade where over 150 people were involved in meeting a critical deadline. During the project, I would show my appreciation for work well done by hand writing a brief note of thanks to an employee. I would specifically state the situation I was appreciative about and say "A star for a star." I enclosed a gold star in the note.

You can imagine my surprise when I started to notice gold stars hanging in cubicles. Some people actually said this was the first time they received a note of thanks from one of their bosses or peers in their entire career.

I believe this simple show of appreciation brought the team closer together and helped to make the project a success. It was like the movie ‘Pay It Forward.' People noticed how appreciation made them feel and in turn, voiced their appreciation to others on the team. Appreciation encourages returned appreciation.

This project came in early and under budget. You can't ask for much more than that.

"Appreciate people. Nothing gives more joy than appreciation."

~Ruth Smeltzer

Here are five aids to help you show sincere appreciation to those you value:

1. Be Specific: Don't just tell someone they did a good job. Tell them exactly what they did: "Mike, I saw how you handled that customer call and I think you did a great job. Very professional."
2. Be Sincere: People know when you are sincere and when you are not. You do, don't you? You must mean every word you say and it must come from the heart. If not, don't give it.
3. Be Public: Whenever possible, be public about your appreciation. Show your appreciation in a public way in front of team members, in front of others in management and in meetings. When we begin to do this, others on our team begin to increase the activities they need to earn this public appreciation.
4. Be immediate: The effectiveness of appreciation is diluted if it is given too long after the action. Be quick to appreciate.
5. Don't qualify appreciation with a "but". As a matter of fact, try not to use "but" ever. Use "and". How effective is this: "I appreciate how you handled that, but..." versus "I appreciate how you handled that, and..."

"Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light."

~Albert Schweitzer

Step into leading and play a Bigger Game in your life...don't wait...model leadership...the World needs us to do this.

Lead Strong!


Top Ten Ways to Show Appreciation to Employees and Coworkers

From Susan M. Heathfield

From Food to Favors for Employee and Coworker Appreciation

You can tell your colleagues, coworkers and employees how much you value them and their contribution any day of the year. Trust me. No occasion is necessary. In fact, small surprises and tokens of your appreciation spread throughout the year help the people in your work life feel valued all year long.

Looking for ideas about how to praise and thank coworkers and employees? Here are ten ways to show your appreciation to employees and coworkers.

  • Praise something your coworker has done well. Identify the specific actions that you found admirable.

  • Say "thank you." Show your appreciation for their hard work and contributions. And, don't forget to say "please" often as well. Social niceties do belong at work. A more gracious, polite workplace is appreciated by all.

  • Ask your coworkers about their family, their hobby, their weekend or a special event they attended.Your genuine interest - as opposed to being nosey – causes people to feel valued and cared about.

  • Offer staff members flexible scheduling for the holidays, if feasible. If work coverage is critical, post a calendar so people can balance their time off with that of their coworkers.

  • Know your coworker’s interests well enough to present a small gift occasionally. An appreciated gift, and the gesture of providing it, will light up your coworker’s day.

  • If you can afford to, give staff money. End of the year bonuses, attendance bonuses, quarterly bonuses and gift certificates say “thank you” quite nicely. TechSmith staff received a percentage of their annual salary for their end of year bonus.

  • Almost everyone appreciates food. Take coworkers or staff to lunch for a birthday, a special occasion or for no reason at all. Let your guest pick the restaurant.

  • Create a fun tradition for a seasonal holiday. ReCellular employees draw names for their Secret Santa gift exchange. Alison Doyle, About's Guide to Job Searching, also works in Career Services at Skidmore College where they do a "gift grab" at their holiday party.

LuAnn Johnson who works in Human Resources at the Schaller Anderson Mercy Care Plan says, "We celebrate Treat Tuesday, every Tuesday between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We match up departments or people who don't normally work together as a unit and assign a day to provide gooey, healthy or scrumptious treats for the other groups. It's a great mixer, an opportunity to show off our culinary skills and a morale builder - to say nothing of the sugar high!"

  • Bring in bagels, doughnuts or another treat for staff and coworkers. Offerings such as cookies or cupcakes, that you've baked personally, are a huge hit. (Have you tried baking cupcakes in ice cream cones? People love them.) Another hit? Bring chocolate - chocolate anything.

  • Last, but not least, provide opportunity. People want chances for training and cross-training. They want to participate on a special committee where their talents are noticed. They like to attend professional association meetings and represent your organization at civic and philanthropic events.

These are my top ten ways to show appreciation to employees and coworkers. Stretch your imagination. There are hundreds of other employee and coworker appreciation ideas just waiting to be found. They'll bring you success in employee motivation, employee recognition and in building a positive, productive workplace.

Recommended Reads with links to

Hot Links!

"Quote For Your Day!"

"Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well."

~ Voltaire

I send out a "Quote for Your Day!" on a daily basis. If you'd like to start your day with a bit of inspiration and sometimes a laugh, sign up for the daily quote by sending a blank e-mail to with "Quote" in the subject line.

Until next time, I wish you joy and fun and ease and effortlessness!

Pat Obuchowski
CEO, Chief Empowerment Officer

Helping people step into their roles as leaders in their businesses, their communities and the world. Helping people and organizations find their "Bigger Game™".

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© 2007 Pat Obuchowski, All rights reserved. You are free to use material from the "Live with Intention" eZine in whole or in part, as long as you include complete attribution, including live Web site link. Please also notify me where the material will appear. The attribution should read:

"By Pat Obuchowski of inVisionaria."

Brief Biography:

Pat Obuchowski is the CEO (Chief Empowerment Officer) of inVisionaria. inVisionaria is a company devoted to helping people and organizations find and achieve their vision and their voice. She works with individuals and organizations that are looking for structure, focus and accountability to set and achieve their goals. She also works with people who are ready to make big changes in their businesses and their lives and step into the leaders they've been yearning to be. People who are ready, willing and able to begin playing their "Bigger Game." No kidding. Right now.

The approach to achieve this and create this alliance is individually based and is designed between Pat and each of her clients.


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