“The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” William James
I found it! For weeks I have been searching for this quote! Not actively, but with the vague memory that there was something ‘out there’ that expressed my business ideals in a single sentence. My sincere thanks to JoAnna Brandi for incorporating it into the wonderful Customer Care Tip which landed in my mail basket today! I thoroughly recommend that you make the link to learn more about JoAnna and read for yourself her extremely thought provoking and inspiring piece “Do you get an A”.
The reason for my delight is that my whole business proposition of valuing people as human assets is premised on the principle that it compels appreciation. Being appreciated is what makes us all feel good about ourselves, which – as I’ve said before – is the root of happiness.
JoAnna makes the statement, “Work should be a place where you can go to have your self-esteem and self-worth grow and flourish.” The fact that this is not the case is patently clear from the lack of employee engagement that I keep on about and which surveys indicate is getting worse rather than better. Too often work is a place where every miniscule thing we do wrong is identified and held against us, while everything we do right gets ignored, not just because it is expected, but because the ingrained idea that people are simply an expense makes it expedient.
Consequently, no matter how much effort is made to try to turn this around, it is impossible because we are fighting the forces of history. It is like a rusty bolt, that doesn’t budge, despite our best efforts to shift it. Valuing people as human assets is the oil that changes this. It creates the mindset that engenders the change of behaviour that will allow us to transform the workplace, and make it a place where people are engaged – simply because they are appreciated and feel good about themselves. It thus becomes somewhere they can use their talents and so a place where they are happy and where it is fun to be.
Martin Luther King said, “Everyone has the power of greatness. Not for fame, but for greatness. Because greatness is determined by service.” And service – as JoAnna so brilliantly explains – is fuelled by appreciation.