When you demonstrate appreciation to your workforce, they feel it and respond by becoming more motivated. So why is the concept of gratitude typically only addressed around the holidays? Having a motivated workforce should be a top priority every day of the year. Expressing gratitude is a healthy way to increase morale and productivity for any business. After all, people appreciate getting appreciated. Employees who don't feel like the company they work for values them will search for alternative opportunities. Companies that refuse to show kindness and appreciation for loyal workers will likely fall behind their competitors.
Here are three ways to begin building a culture of corporate gratitude, that won't break your budget:
- Begin a spoken plan of gratitude. It doesn't take much to say "thank you" in a meaningful way, but it does require making sure everyone knows they should do it. Discuss with your management team, supervisors and department heads about how micro-expressions of gratitude can make a huge difference in attitudes and productivity levels and that they should start communicating them freely. Simple acts like saying "well done" both privately and in front of others on the team can work miracles for boosting employee morale.
- Begin a digital plan of gratitude. Emails, tweets, even videos or conference calls expressing thanks and appreciation go a long way for both individuals and teams. Everyone wants to feel valued, appreciated and recognized in the workplace. These cravings are especially acute in a "connected world" where people spend so much time online.
- Begin everyday courtesy-mindfulness. While this may seem obvious, when people have tight deadlines and are pressured to maintain schedules, basic niceties fall by the wayside. Remind your managers they must think and communicate "thank you," "appreciate your hard work," "we have noticed your efforts to go the extra mile," etc. When managers say them and mean them it will make a difference in employee attitudes, which will influence engagement, production levels and retention.
Money may keep employees from leaving, but it isn't enough to keep them enthused and focused. In fact, a study by Glassdoor turned up a finding that 80 percent of respondents said they would take less money to work for a boss who demonstrated appreciation for their service. Financial incentives are powerful, but not as much as emotional incentives. If a culture of gratitude is not present enough in your workplace, not only are you missing out on bringing out the best in your current staff, but it will be harder to hire. Companies viewed as uncaring have a tougher time attracting the level of talent that drives top-line growth.
Without an environment of gratitude, there is no possibility to keep up with the businesses that empower their workers with a positive culture that embraces positivity. Companies that deliver on the promise of creating a culture of gratitude yield benefits that drive success throughout the organization. It's time to get started!
Matt O'Grady is CEO of Matt O'Grady Coaching, specialists in Corporate Gratitude programs which have a measurable impact on employee engagement, retention, workforce attitudes and morale. He can be reached at [email protected]