With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot lately of how we thank those around us. Most people are polite and will always thank someone who holds a door for you or hands you a receipt, but how often do most of us thank those who are around us day after day?
I recently read an article about being thankful in the workplace, and I was astonished to learn that people are less likely to express gratitude at work than anyplace else. We all go through our busy day and I think often get so wrapped up that we take each other for granted. It’s not intentional, but it happens. While it might be someone’s responsibility within their job description and duties, it is still nice to hear that you are appreciated, and the work is noticed.
There are many ways to show employees they are appreciated:
1. Praise a job well done. Be sure to include details of specific actions the employee took versus just a generic “good job.” I always try to point out specific things I noticed and appreciate.
2. Say thank you. This one seems so simple, but it really makes a big difference.
3. Be sincere. Leaders that show gratitude and realize that their success is dependent upon their employees have more loyal and engaged team members.
4. Write a thank-you note. Handwritten notes are hard to come by these days, but they still go a long way. They show that you took the time to hand write a note versus shooting off an email. I write handwritten notes to each employee at the end of every year thanking them for their individual contributions.
There was an interesting study by psychologists Adam Grant and Francesca Gino that discovered that a simple “thank you” from a supervisor gave people a strong sense of both self-worth and self-efficacy. The study also revealed that the expression of gratitude has a spillover effect: colleagues become more trusting with each other and are more likely to help each other out.
An article I read recently by Harvard Health Publishing discussed a research study by researchers at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. They randomly divided university fundraisers into two groups. One group made phone calls to solicit alumni donations in the same way they always had. The second group received a pep talk from the director of annual giving, who told the fundraisers she was grateful for their efforts. The university employees who received the pep talk and were told how much their efforts were appreciated, made 50% more fundraising calls than those who did not receive the pep talk.
I make an effort to personally thank team members that I see are extraordinarily busy or are doing a great job. Another thing I do on a larger, corporate level is read aloud all compliments that team members have received during our monthly staff meetings. These compliments may have been submitted by members or are sometimes sent to me from ASE colleagues. Either way, it is nice to recognize each employee publicly so that they know their work does not go unnoticed or unappreciated.
How do you recognize your employees’ efforts and show gratitude in the workplace? Email me at email@example.com.