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Monday, November 20, 2023

Four Ways to Show Gratitude at Work This Thanksgiving

Employees spend a great majority of their time at work. Many dedicate long hours to the corporate hustle, and while some are motivated by overtime, others feel they do not have an option, but to work beyond their weekly forty hours.

When employees feel appreciated for their work and by their employer, they are more engaged and able to perform at their best.

Appreciation and recognition aren’t all about money either. At many companies, employees feel their best efforts go unnoticed or ignored.

Consider these four ways to thank and celebrate your employees:

1. Take the time to talk to, and get to know, your employees. The most significant way to thank your employees is to get to know them. Take them to lunch or schedule time to ask about their values, hobbies, and interests. Understand your employees. Use what you now know about them to build a customized skills-improvement performance plan. Spend time with, and become interested in, each of your employees.

2. Ask employees what they think. The best way to feel appreciated is to be included – to feel that your perspectives matter. In a Lean environment, we need input from all of our employees to be successful. Including employees in company issues, challenges, and opportunities empowers them, engages them, and connects them to strategy and vision of the company.

3. Say thank you, and mean it. Most managers actually do thank employees who do great work. Employees work for more than money. They work for the praise and acknowledgement of their managers. A sincere thank you, said at the time of a specific event that warrants the applause, is one of the most effective ways to appreciate employees. Remember the phrase, “What gets rewarded, gets repeated.” Start to say “thank you” or “I appreciate what you do” when it is deserved and it will inspire the behaviors to continue. Make it personal and sincere. Catch employees doing great things and respond. It empowers them, appreciates them, and celebrates their performance.

4. Share gratitude. Set an example by showing gratitude to your team members and praising a job well done, so other managers will follow. Show timely gratitude once a job is done. Employees want to feel recognized as soon as the job is done and not weeks later during board meetings.

Being thankful doesn't have to be just an activity during Thanksgiving. You can also make it a regular routine. At the start of a meeting, you can ask each person to share something they are grateful for.

It is common today to live on autopilot or in survival mode. This is an individual choice, but it can severely impact employee engagement. When employees start to be more present at work, feeling engaged and contributing from a place of gratefulness, teams can benefit from better interactions, a sense of belonging and increased psychological safety, with a significant impact on business performance in the long term.

Regardless of your style and how you do it, connecting with employees and taking the opportunity to thank them, when ever you can, pays dividends for everyone. Appreciating and thanking your employees isn’t hard or costly. So take the time to make a difference in your employee’s life. You will be pleasantly rewarded by them making a difference in yours.

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