What is the best way to deliver appreciation?

two women sitting and talking

Is it better to give appreciation through text, phone calls, or in-person? In this article, you will learn about the gratification effect that different delivery methods have on employees feeling appreciated.

A healthy workplace environment often finds the value of appreciation at its base. The reason being, appreciation offers employees to feel valued, heard, seen, and recognized for their efforts. 

However, a recent article published by Berkely ( 2021) has studied the most effective ways to deliver appreciation for employees to consider it valuable and genuine. 

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The different ways to show appreciation

There are many reasons why appreciation isn’t expressed on a daily basis. The most common fall into the category of “ how should I appreciate an employee?“  without it being awkward or shrugged off. Oftentimes, that leads to guilt and indebted need to thank a hardworking employee when it’s too late.  

The Journal of Positive Psychology published the difference in expressing thank you in person, through a video call, and over text.  The result found that receiving a “ thank you” through text had the same amount of impact as receiving a “ thank you “ in person. 

hands clap with phone

Moreover, if we were to take this to an extreme, delivering appreciation in person also has its disadvantages. 

In fact, ask yourself this: 

When did you last appreciate someone in person? And, when did you last thank someone through text?  

Now, I’d like you to remember how you felt when delivering the message. Were you nervous? Emotional? Relaxed? How did you feel after you sent it? 

Studies suggest that most people experience a degree of embarrassment when delivering in-person appreciation. In particular, the embarrassment comes from feeling nervous or anxious about the delivery. Contrarily, delivering thank you through text removes all stress factors and allows for a calm and meaningful delivery. 

There is no “ wrong” or “ right “ way to show appreciation. However, it is important to recognize that even if we believe that our text messages aren’t important, they are. In fact, text messages deliver the same amount of emotion and benefits as other delivery methods. 

lady texing infront of her computer

A written thank you, through text, email, or notes is the easiest way to format appreciation. Moreover, it removes the feeling of embarrassment or awkwardness. On the other hand, extroverts find in-person communication is better suited for them.

Moreover, we cannot rely solely on texting to express appreciation. The problem with messages is that it leaves too much room for interpretation. As a result, many emotions fall through the cracks and miss the point. Therefore, lean onto a combination of both, and most importantly, be prompt and genuine in your appreciation.

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