Why Gratitude and Saying “Thank You” to Employees Goes a Long Way
If you’re like me, you know that positivity always wins and even the simplest of gestures can go a long way in the workplace. In other words, saying thank you and expressing gratitude for employees is the quickest way to nurture a positive work culture.
It’s true! We all take our employees for granted at times, but these simple acts of gratitude can transform a jaded group of employees into a focused, energized team with a purpose.
But what steps can you take to promote this kind of sentiment in the workplace?
As you should know, recognizing a job well done is the most affordable way to let an employee know that you appreciate them. For this reason, saying “thank you” should not be viewed as an act of necessity but rather as a tool to improve and maintain morale.
What’s more, it really doesn’t take that much to show appreciation for employees. Appraisals and employee reviews are great, but you don’t need an hour-long conversation to get this gratitude across. In fact, this gesture often requires little more than two minutes and can even come in the form of a simple “Thank you.”
In case you haven’t noticed, flexibility is a big deal in the modern workplace, especially now that employees have much higher expectations. For many people, flexible working hours or an option to work from home is hugely beneficial while “time off” is another opportunity for employers to demonstrate gratitude.
For example, if an employee requests time off for personal reasons, it’s always a good idea to oblige without any questions. Similarly, if an employee enquires about having their work hours adjusted, management should always take time to listen. Showing empathy for these kinds of requests is a good way to show support for employees and maintain morale in the process.
Your employees have busy lives outside of work, just like employers do, and when they are treated with respect and compassion you will find that the reward is hard work and loyalty.
Listening to Employees
Listening is a form of appreciation. But let’s face it; while everyone likes to talk, not everyone is good at listening. We’re all guilty of this at times. This is often the case with managers or leaders who lack a sense of awareness.
Listening to concerns or complaints from employees is critical to happiness in the workplace. Now, you may not be able to accommodate or even agree with these requests, but the point is to demonstrate that you care about the feelings of employees.
But how can you accomplish this?
Keep it simple. Ask questions and try to get to the bottom of why they might be feeling this way. Also, it’s a good idea to thank employees for raising these concerns as it creates an environment in which individuals feel safe when it comes to sensitive issues and creates an open-door policy. Open-door policies are integral for a successful company culture.
Acknowledgment and Giving Credit
Did you know that 40% of employees feel under appreciated by their current employer? It’s true, according to recent studies, just under half of all employees feel under-appreciated!
Employees most often feel under valued and unimportant because management fails to acknowledge hard work or give credit where credit is due. Sadly, this is also a simple process that every manager should practice, and it comes at absolutely no expense. As if that’s not enough, these opportunities to show gratitude arise every single day.
For example, if an employee meets a tight deadline, see this as an opportunity to give credit. When a team member performs consistently for a long period of time, take time to acknowledge their dedication. And if company profits improve due to a healthy dose of productivity – employees need to know that their performance is hugely appreciated!
Celebrate for No Reason at All
This is a common theme we use to implement as business leaders. Break out the party hats – no reason required. Order in breakfast, get a cake, or grab some pizza. When they ask what’s the occasion? Gratitude is the answer. Tell them you appreciate what they have been doing to make the company a success. Little things go a long way. You don’t need a reason to celebrate your team. Breakfast is a great way to start meetings. You fill them up for the day and give them the energy to keep going. Watch the reaction as a leader, you will be amazed at how this will bond your team.
Praising at Meetings
During team meetings or huddles it’s always important to end on a high note. Praise an employee that either got a project done, or front-line staff that received feedback from your customers. There is truly nothing like reading feedback from customers. It’s morale boosting! Surprise, surprise; gratitude brings out the best in people!
Awarding Employees for Performance
It can sound a little daft to some managers, but awards are a great motivational tool and an easy way to highlight progress, accomplishments, and important milestones. Now, this award does not need to be extravagant in any way and can be a simple certificate or a place on the company “Wall of Fame”.
As an example, “employee of the month” is a common award that companies use to recognize excellence and high performance. As you might expect, these awards tend to improve the morale of individual award winners and encourage or motivate the rest of the team to boost their own productivity.
Times of failure are great ways to show gratitude
Depending on the circumstances, it can also be beneficial to praise employees even if they miss or fail to achieve certain objectives. After all, they may have worked extremely hard on the project and your role is to inspire these employees rather than criticize their performance.
Besides, how often does someone appreciate a slap on the wrists?
In fact, times of failure can also be the most impactful times that you can rejuvenate employees and get everyone back working on the same track.
Promoting from Inside
While it may be necessary to advertise outside the company for certain roles, management often overlook the importance of internal hires. What’s more, these are often roles that existing employees are qualified to perform, and internal hiring is much faster than recruiting from elsewhere.
As if that’s not enough, hiring and promoting within an organisation is extremely good for employee morale. After all, nobody wants to work at a job that has no upward mobility. Internal promotions are the perfect reason for employees to set their sights higher within the company and improve their productivity in the process.
Talking to your Employees
The truth is, far too many employees resign from their workplace due to general unhappiness because of fragmented relationships with their superior. Now, that’s not to say you need to be everyone’s best friend but showing gratitude with simple gestures is usually enough to cement relationships and avoid the above scenarios as much as possible.
As you can see, gratitude is an admirable trait that goes a long way to improving productivity and positivity in the workplace. And if you’re like me, you might take it for granted sometimes, but positivity always wins and saying “thank you” doesn’t cost a cent!