People crave recognition and understanding.


It’s often the case that we’re more comfortable focusing on the negatives, what we don’t have and on what doesn’t work than we are on appreciating the positives, what we do have and on what does work. It is because of our brain’s negativity bias, our way of keeping ourselves out of harm’s way. 


Naturally, if we are open to the idea of showing appreciation, it would be significantly easier if it was in relation to people we loved and cared for. In the corporate arena, it is even more challenging to show others a sense of appreciation for who they are and what they do. Do they need this? Well, ask yourself what happened the last time someone noticed something positive you did or said and mentioned it to you or others? How did it make you feel? The fact is that everyone craves not only to be understood but to be appreciated. The workplace is an environment we devote the best hours daily and also, the best years of our lives. With so much of ourselves invested in our jobs, it’s only natural that understanding, recognition and appreciation be some of the things we focus on as both giver and receiver. 


This Raya, let’s look at a few simple yet effective ways we can show others that we appreciate them. 


  1. A Raya gift hamper.
    The store-bought ones are easy, convenient and presented beautifully but you could easily assemble one yourself to suit your budget and to bring a level of personalisation to the task. Remember that it’s not the size that counts – what matters is the thought that goes into the gift.  


  1. The green packet.
    Originating in the East, the red envelope or ang pow has been adopted also by other cultures including the Malay Muslims especially as part of the Eid al-Fitr, or Hari Raya,  The difference is that instead of red, green packets are used, for its traditional association with Islam. Again, in a corporate setting, where numbers may be greater than in a family, this may place a lot of financial pressure on the giver but the focus is on the act of giving as opposed to the size of the gift. It’s an opportunity to get to know your colleagues a little better and these packets can be given to your colleagues’ kids. 


  1. Put old grudges to rest. 
    This is perhaps truly invaluable for it provides a chance to reset and renew. Sometimes, when enough time has gone by, you can forget the reason for any fallout in the first place, with pride and ego keeping things as they are unnecessarily. In the spirit of renewal and forgiveness, the first step you take to start again, to forgive or ask for forgiveness can be indeed powerful and priceless. 


  1. A simple thank you note.
    The handwritten ones on a thoughtfully worded card or beautiful parchment may blow the receiver away. In the age of always on, social media, pings and waves, the time taken to craft something longer than a quick phrase and emoticon may indeed have the impact desired. Recognition beyond any expectation.  The cost? Maybe ten dollars. The effect?  


  1. Organised free rides home.
    This would be particularly appreciated by those who rely on public transport. A free ride home, organised in advance, is a signal that you understand the individual circumstances and needs. A simple touch that can go a long way, this is once again a quick and easy to do step that can have tremendous impact. 


Showing appreciation is simple. Make it about the person and their circumstance because often, the fact that it’s not a one size fits all approach is what makes it golden. Keep things simple because it works. And engagement, empowerment, recognition, reward and appreciation are not the purview of the employer alone. Every one of us is part of our organisational loop, being affected by and affecting others which means we ourselves can and should show appreciation to those within our circles of influence. 


On behalf of SelfDrvn, we would like to wish all Muslims, Selamat Hari Raya dan Maaf Zahir dan Batin. To all non-Muslims, wishing you all a wonderful break and happy holidays this festive period.