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You May Love Work, But Does Work Love You Back?

Valentine's DayYesterday was Valentine’s Day, the annual celebration of love between couples, and the love of skyrocketing revenue for chocolatiers, florists, jewelers, and restaurants.

OK, reality and cynicism aside, it would also be nice if employers used Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to express their appreciation for their employees. It wouldn't be love, exactly, but it could feel close to it if you'd been devoting a lot of energy to your work and had received little appreciation in return.

At one of my former employers, which at the time employed nearly 9,000 around the globe, the founder and president would meet with everyone (really!) once a year at their office. He would then hand each person a card with $500 cash inside.

But here’s the better part: Before he met with you, he'd find out some things you accomplished in the previous year and would commend you for your work. This was the only time of the year most employees saw him. But the fact that he made an effort to find out what you did and how it helped the organization was beyond impressive, and one of the reasons the company was a great employer. The money was nice, but the recognition made the gesture so much better.

That’s the case for many—if not most—employees today. It’s the recognition that makes them want to come to work each day. It’s the satisfaction that a job well done does not go unnoticed, such as bringing in a project ahead of deadline or under budget, taking on extra work to cover for someone else’s leave of absence, or putting in extra time to ensure a customer got what it wanted.

In short, you like to feel that they "love" having you there! If you don’t feel the love, chances are you’re going to look for something new.

Did your boss or some other executive express appreciation for your accomplishments, with or without money? Did you "feel the love?" Or did they pass it off as just part of the job? Tell us about it.

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