It’s widely understood that today’s workforce contains three, sometimes four, generations of workers. They often have very different communication styles, work habits and priorities. For this reason, companies are bending and twisting internal practices like a pretzel to engage and get the best out of everyone. There’s an inherent benefit in helping each individual maximize their potential based on their specific needs, and if we all understand each other better, we’re better off as a team.

Unfortunately, companies are spending far too much time talking about and focusing on what separates them rather than the things that bind everyone together. At the very least, in terms of corporate messaging and rallying teams of people to accomplish great things, a focus on those characteristics which are more universal human needs, as opposed to generation preferences, is ideal.

  1. Everyone values recognition
  2. Everyone wants to be associated with a winner
  3. Everyone craves respect
  4. Everyone wants to learn
  5. Nobody likes to feel left out

The best part about some of these preferences—areas like appreciation cost organizations very little. It remains a tremendous business tool that hearkens back to the expression, “It costs nothing to be nice.” Well, the same can be said for taking the time to say ‘thank you.’ Yes, there are times when we spend a little to make others feel special, but more often than not, our culture of appreciation is defined more by taking the time to let someone know they’re valued.

It’s important to understand the value of showing appreciation in ways big and small, but most importantly, is the frequency to which you’re showing appreciation. If you’re familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, you know that esteem is right near the top of that triangle and being appreciated certainly lends itself towards fulfilling this most basic of needs.

Parts of this post are adapted from another post by the author, found here.