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Gratitude in the workplace is often underrated. While some leaders are quick with a “thank you,” others are still under the impression that thanks are given with a paycheck. Research clearly illustrates that the right amount of gratitude can dramatically impact the productivity, positivity, morale, employee retention, and success of a business.
With “The Great Resignation” and “The Great Discontent” affecting our organizations, retention is top-of-mind.
A little gratitude goes a long way in keeping employees happy and feeling valued.
The act of gratitude clearly transcends any one part of our lives. It’s holistic in nature. Those who are grateful at home are likely to be grateful at work. But people aren’t inherently grateful or not. Like many things, it can be–and I would argue should be– practiced.
Say things like: Thank you! We appreciate you. We are glad you’re here. You offer great value to our team. Nice job on that project. Sound too easy or trite? It’s not.
Ask questions like: How would you like to be recognized? What makes a happy, productive workplace? A misstep is often to assume you know what resonates with people. Don’t be afraid to ask: take surveys or have open conversations about what feels good to hear or experience.
Make time and space for gratitude.
Many employees may feel ambivalent about expressing gratitude or appreciation publicly, so don’t force it. Instead, managers should make (physical or virtual) space and time for gratitude. For example, managers can create an appreciation wall or a dedicated Slack channel for employees to recognize others and give kudos. Managers might also start meetings with gratitude ‘check-ins,’ during which team members can express one thing they’re thankful for.
Gratitude in the workplace doesn’t have to be expensive or overwrought with logistics. There are many ways to show appreciation and employee recognition that aren’t overtaxing or unrealistic.
As with all goal-setting, the clearer the picture, the more likely you will succeed. Take the time to understand what happiness means in your organization, industry, and area of the world.
This alone can put a damper on the “Great Resignation” or “Great Discontent.”
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