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4 min read

Appreciation: the most undervalued product marketing leadership skill?


Modern-day leaders must have a set of hard and soft skills to take their companies to the next level. But from all the skills a leader can possess, appreciation ranks at the very top.

Appreciation means having the dignity to give compliments, recognizing good qualities, and enjoying when someone does a good job and in the business world, appreciation leads to unprecedented benefits. It can boost employee morale, and increase employee retention -it’s instrumental in a company's growth.

As mentioned, appreciation is one of the many hard and soft skills modern-day leaders must possess. This guide will tell you why every leader must show appreciation toward their employees, coworkers, and business partners.

I’ll address discussion points, such as:

  • What it means to show appreciation
  • How appreciating your team can increase employee retention
  • Why appreciation drives creativity
  • How morale improves when teams are appreciated
  • How to show appreciation as a leader

What does it mean to show appreciation?

Some say appreciation is a basic human need. After all, we work in results-driven industries where growth is all that matters. But we need to find ways to motivate employees to do better to achieve higher results. Showing appreciation is one way to do that.

Merriam-Webster explains appreciation as "a feeling or expression of admiration, approval, or gratitude." Appreciation is a leadership skill that only the classiest of leaders have.

The skill is powerful enough to singlehandedly boost employee morale beyond your wildest imagination. But appreciation is also a skill that not every leader has.

Therefore, it becomes a priority to find ways to acquire it as it can make all the difference in the modern business world. So how do you show more appreciation as a modern business leader? Before we tell you that, here are a few reasons why appreciation is the most underrated skill a leader can have.

Appreciation increases employee retention

Ask yourself: why do employees leave companies? Is it for better-paying jobs, more growth opportunities, or because they feel unappreciated? Without a doubt, all three reasons are valid answers. However, while we might be limited regarding how big a salary and growth opportunities we can offer, one thing we absolutely can do is show appreciation.

Showing appreciation will lead to increased employee satisfaction. Knowing your employees' names, strengths, and unique characteristics will ultimately make them feel more wanted in your organization.

In addition, praising an employee for doing a good job will increase employee retention, as it will make them feel more valued.

Appreciation encourages employee creativity

Levels of creativity vary depending on each employee. People come from all kinds of backgrounds, which logically suggests they will have different thought processes.

Employees tackle challenges, issues, and obstacles differently. Some might employ a methodical approach to solving problems, while others rely on creativity.

There's no wrong approach to how your employees tackle work-related issues and challenges. But giving your employees a voice to speak up can bring forth alternative solutions to problems and challenges.

Ultimately, being honest with your employees and showing appreciation can motivate your employees to resolve issues in different ways.

Appreciation increases employee morale

Last, but not least, appreciation as a skill is powerful enough to keep your employees happy and in high spirits. After all, a happy workplace is a productive workplace.

Join host Josh Lory, Senior Director of Product Marketing at VMware and PMM influencer, for 48 Hours to Lead, a podcast in which he explores the minds of renowned product marketing leaders and unveils methods that’ll help you, your team, and your products flourish in just two days.

How to show appreciation as a leader

Now we come to the part of this short guide that explains how to show appreciation and develop the skill.

Give employees opportunities to showcase their talents

Your goal as a leader is to make every employee feel part of your workplace family - you need to make them feel appreciated. And there's no better way to do that than to provide employees with opportunities to show what they can do.

Some employees crave more responsibilities. They want to move up the ladder and hold a more important role within your organization.

The only way to retain the most passionate and hard-working employees is to show appreciation.

Ask for their opinion

Hearing alternative opinions is an excellent way to tinker with issues. But in a hostile working environment, very few employees are willing to give their point of view. Therefore, you must make it your mission to embrace an inclusive and welcoming workplace environment where anyone can share their opinion.

Empowering your employees to speak up shows that you value their opinions.

Share their success

If you truly want to be a modern workplace leader, you must show appreciation for your employee's hard work and triumphs. After finishing a project with extraordinary success, make it a priority to give a round of applause to the people tasked with making sure you bring home a win.

Remember that your employees are the soul of your company, so make it a priority to share their success with everyone to empower them and reach new levels.

Enquire about their needs

Finally, show your appreciation by initiating a conversation to discuss their needs and wants. Your employees won’t always speak up about what they truly want - no matter your workplace culture.

Therefore, make it your goal to know where your employee's heart lies.

Modern workplace leaders must show appreciation in a meaningful way that guides employees each step of the way, as only through appreciation can we foster quality relationships and professional development.

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Written by:

Erik Bergman

Erik Bergman

Erik Bergman co-founded Catena Media and helped grow it to over 300 employees and a $200 million valuation before stepping away to start Great.com.

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Appreciation: the most undervalued product marketing leadership skill?