Ever pored hours of your time and energy into a project only to be met with nothing but a cursory acknowledgement? Ever gone to your boss with a great idea and seen it passed off as theirs? You’re not alone. In fact, according to recent studies, approximately 65% of people don’t feel appreciated in the workplace, something that undoubtedly contributes to today’s worryingly low employee engagement rates.
In most instances, this perceived lack of gratitude is often simply a result of extreme time poverty, with fast-encroaching deadlines meaning ‘thank yous’ somehow find their way to the bottom of the to-do list. But is that really such an issue, given that your employees are being thanked financially at the end of every month?
Well that depends on your priorities. If you want your employees working from pay check to pay check, scraping by doing the bare minimum, by all means proceed with managing your deadlines. But if you want a workforce that’s truly engaged and willing to go the extra mile for your business, it’s time to start showing some genuine gratitude to your team members.
Studies show that up to 90% of workers feel that bosses who show gratitude are more successful, resulting in increased motivation, team spirit and productivity. Yes, those two little words really can make an enormous difference to your corporate culture.
Not only that, but by applying an attitude of gratitude within your workplace, you’ll encourage others to do the same, which will end up resonating not only within your walls, but in dealings with clients and customers too.
So how do you go about enforcing a culture of thankfulness in your business? Here are some top tips to get you started.
Simply issuing regular thanks to your team for a job well done is akin to sending out a mass email – it feels disingenuous and your employees will see right through it. If you really want your employees to feel appreciated, you’ll need to be a little more specific with your praise. By recognizing someone for their individual efforts, taking the time to call out things they’ve done especially well, you’ll convey to them that your gratitude is more than something that simply needs checking off a list. Yes, it might take a bit more time out of your day, but the benefits down the line will be well worth the trouble.
KEEP THE PRAISE PRIVATE
Slapping your team members on the back and handing out gifts of gratitude is all well and good, but not if it’s done purely as a means to impress others. If your thanks are offered with an ulterior motive in mind – showing your superior what a magnanimous leader you are for instance – you’ll quickly be caught out by their recipients. If you want to ensure your employees feel valued, make sure that your public persona is echoed in private, and that you take the time to thank your employees without the benefit of onlookers.
PICK OUT THE POSITIVES
Every manager will be forced at times to have tough conversations with employees who will inevitably make intermittent mistakes. However, rather than simply berating the offender in question, make sure to identify something positive in the task gone awry, offering words of encouragement along with any necessary reprimand. By proffering balanced feedback, you’ll ensure your employees feel that their efforts are appropriately acknowledged, resulting in a lowered likelihood of the mistake being repeated.
OFFER A PLATFORM FOR GRATITUDE
Saying thank you isn’t an easy undertaking for everyone, but you can make it simpler by offering your workforce a platform to give gratitude. By holding weekly or monthly ‘thank you’ sessions, you’ll create the perfect platform to offer up regular praise to team members, and afford them the opportunity to thank each other for their support. By embedding gratitude into your routine, you’ll not only ensure employees feel appreciated, but also make giving thanks a pivotal part of your corporate culture.