The Gift of Gratitude.
Two little words with BIG impact - saying 'thank you' just makes good business sense. Creating and maintaining a workplace culture of gratitude can improve productivity, innovation, collaboration, absenteeism, and physical and mental health. The benefits of a 'grateful workplace' are two-fold; employees who experience genuine appreciation tend to 'pay it forward' (you can see how simple it is to get started), workplace performance is increased when team members feel a strong personal commitment to the growth and success of each individual team member and the company as a whole. This sense of responsibility and engagement is best achieved by way of a grateful workplace. Additional benefits of corporate gratitude include greater job satisfaction, productive workplace relationships (between team members and management), increased motivation and commitment to company goals. Further, clients who feel valued, and receive sincere appreciation are more likely to remain committed to your business relationship.
Sounds good, but how do I get started? Get some gratitude in your workplace today with our four key steps.
Yes, employees are there to do a job, but if you're after their best job (and you should be), you need give credit where credit is due. This can occur on two levels; personal (one-to-one praise or a simple thank you can go a long way), and public; depending on company structure, suitability etc. Public recognition allows the whole company to celebrate individuals who have gone above and beyond, and can be achieved via a number of platforms:
- once-off emails
- a notice in the company newsletter
- an 'employee of the month' style board in the office
- a mention during staff meetings
- annual ceremonies (e.g., Christmas events)
- professional development opportunities (e.g., corporate training retreats)
- small gifts (e.g., movie tickets or dinner vouchers)
Give your employees a voice. Of course there are archetypal managerial structures in most companies but it is seriously important for employees to feel valued, trusted, and have their knowledge and experience appreciated. Where appropriate, involve employees in decision making, problem solving, brainstorming, product testing, and brand advocacy (find out more here [link to social 2017 blog]).
Remember employees are people not robots; unrealistic / unmanageable expectations create stress in the workplace and promote toxic and dysfunctional team behaviour. Encouraging and facilitating positive social relationships in the workplace strengthens employee commitment and increases job satisfaction and performance. Regular company outings (e.g., after-work drinks, dinners, family picnics etc.) reminds employees that they are important to you as people, as well as agents of productivity.
Openness to feedback (from employees and clients) is absolutely necessary for a grateful workplace; without it, everything we've already discussed will simply fall flat. Obviously it's not always possible to implement everything an employee or clients asks for, just don't make the mistake of ignoring or dismissing complaints or issues that are brought to your attention - actually you should regularly check-in with employees and clients to keep the channels of communication open and effective.