I recently read an article on the attitude of gratitude from The Assessment Specialists which I think is particularly timely as we look forward to the year ahead. In the article, they talk about how showing gratitude can actually increase employee longevity.
Here are some suggestions from that article, and a few of my own, to show you how an attitude of gratitude might work in your company.
- Recognize employees for specific results. This goes beyond “Employee of the Month” programs, which are also a way to reward overall excellence. Instead, consider recognition based on something more specific, whether it is securing a new client, closing a big deal, providing exceptional customer service, achieving a safety goal, solving a problem, or going above and beyond to get a project off the ground. The reward can be tangible (e.g., time off, gift card, etc.) or it can be something as simple as mentioning the employee and their accomplishments in the company newsletter. People like being appreciated, no matter how you choose to do it.
- Tailor the appreciation to the individual. Some of us want to see our names in lights, while others are shyer and prefer a low key thank you. Keep the personality of the recipient in mind as you choose the appropriate form of gratitude.
- Encourage peer-to-peer recognition. We expect our superiors to tell us when we’ve done a good job, but we don’t get praise from our fellow employees as often. Wouldn’t it be nice to hear “great work!” from a co-worker? Encourage your staff to recognize each other for a job well done. This helps to create an environment of teamwork versus one of competition.
- Go beyond a simple “thank you.” We all love positive reinforcement, but specificity is important too. The next time you thank someone or recognize them for hard work, be specific about what they did that impressed you, and share that story with others. This gives a much deserved “atta boy (or girl)” to the superstar, and it gives a real life example to others to emulate. For example, instead of saying “great job helping that customer last week” say something like, “Susan, last week that customer was very frustrated that she had to repeatedly explain her symptoms and situation to different members of the healthcare team. You made it easy for her by helping her write it down, so it could become part of her electronic file which is automatically shared with different providers. You saved the day! Thank you.”
- Create a culture of gratitude by recognizing stellar staffers often. Don’t save your appreciation for year-end bonuses, annual reviews or employee appreciation day. Show your gratitude for successes large and small throughout the year, and encourage fellow managers and peers to do the same.
Creating a culture of appreciation and gratitude makes your organization a more pleasant place to work, and because good behavior and exceptional performance are encouraged, they are more likely to be repeated.
How can you apply an attitude of gratitude to your workplace? We’d love to hear your ideas! Comment below or send us an email, and we’ll share your responses with our readers.
Thanks for reading!
Diana Albertson, CEO