I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts - TED talk and they were discussing kindness, appreciation and valuing one another. I truly believe a few kind words to a stranger or a simple thank you to a co worker can really make someones day. When I stop to appreciate a person, a situation, or a kind gesture - a smile comes across my face - effortlessly. And come to find out there is a scientific/measured reason for this. When you give an authentic compliment, one that really comes from your heart, the serotonin levels in your brain increase. Yes, you read that right. You appreciating someone else releases happy hormones in your brain. Same is true for when you receive a compliment. This is starting to make so much sense. When you appreciate a sunset, a team victory, or a person, you are finding gratitude in that situation. And I’ll say it again, you can’t get to joy without stopping at gratitude.
A study was done that compared employees productivity levels after receiving recognition from their employers. Now, recognition is not the same as appreciation. Recognition is positive feedback on your performance and typically comes from a supervisor. After receiving recognition, employees productivity increased 23%. Pretty good. When these same employees received appreciation, meaning they felt valued as a human/employee and not just valued because of their performance, their productivity levels shot up 43%. Very impressive. Gist of the study - focus on WHO people are rather than just on WHAT they do. Recognizing the value of every human being is going to make us all happier at the end of the day.