As the holiday season approaches, you may begin to reflect on everything that you are grateful for, from your pets to your local grocery store adding your favorite specialty dessert food. This type of thankfulness is important both in your personal life, and in your work life. For this reason, you should be sure to include your employees and work team on this year’s Thanksgiving gratitude list, as they contribute immeasurably to the success of your company.
Why it is Important to Keep Your Employees Happy
Employee appreciation goes a long way, as 53 percent of employees surveyed via Glassdoor said that they would be more likely to stay at their company long-term if they felt appreciated by their boss. Furthermore, 81 percent said that they feel motivated to work harder when their boss is actively appreciative of the work they do.
Your employees are engaged productively at work when they are enthusiastic and committed to the job. A sneaky threat to your workplace is employees who are indifferent about their occupation and do their work on mindless zombie mode with little regard for their performance and their company success as a whole. This puts strain on innovation and advancements.
Employees who feel like key players in a healthy team dynamic can contribute positively to strong and supportive company cultures. For this reason, it is important to ensure that your employees feel valued and appreciated so that they can continue to produce top-quality work. Employees are an invaluable asset to their business.
How Employee Appreciation Contributes to the Long-Term Success of your Company
On average, happy employees are 12 percent more productive at work than their under-appreciated counterparts. In fact, unhappy employees are notably less productive than the average employee. This can lead to poor quality of work because the brain performs better when it feels positive. General positivity leads to more creativity in addition to increased productivity. This, in turn, can increase your company’s output, innovation, brand reputation, and profits.
Furthermore, showing your employees your gratitude for the work they do can also increase the trust that your work team has both in each other and in you. Trust is an essential commodity for the work environment and when employees feel that their work is being recognized by their superiors, they feel more of a connection to and trust in their leadership teams. In fact, one report states that 70 percent of employees indicate that recognition at work makes them feel emotionally connected to their peers. With this kind of positive reinforcement, employees are much more likely to want to stay with your company.
Why Positive Interaction and Communication in Teams is Important
Communication and productive interaction between team members is crucial to establishing a workflow as well as efficiently mitigating potential issues. As your team’s leader, be sure to demonstrate effective communication and encourage your team to work towards communicating in healthy and productive ways when you are not around, as well. As the leader, you should be able to clearly explain expectations and suggestions for work projects, resolve conflict in timely and respectful ways, value all team members for the work they do and the skills they contribute, and demonstrate mutual respect. It is best to do this face-to-face, as this will further serve to open communication pathways. With open communication and respect among all members of a team, projects are much more likely to run smoothly and be productive.
One key way to do this is to build on your employees’ strengths, rather than their weaknesses. A strengths-based perspective in your team will help your employees learn how to communicate about what is working well, increasing their chances of staying engaged and working positively with others on the team. Adding learned skills to your team members’ natural talents will only increase productivity and contribute to a healthy workplace culture founded on respect.
How to Effectively Communicate Gratitude to your Team
Psychologically speaking, gratitude profoundly affects the brain in positive ways, whether it is being given or received. Studies have shown that individuals who regularly practice expressing gratitude show increases in determination, attention, enthusiasm and energy compared to those who do not regularly practice gratitude. It is in your best interest both at work and your outside life to start showing the people that you are around that you are grateful for them! There are several ways in which you can effectively communicate gratitude to your work team.
- Say “thank you” regularly – A simple thank you can make someone’s day and it takes virtually no effort on your part. The simple act of acknowledging the effort that someone has put into a task can brighten someone’s day. Regular expressions of thanks will increase employee growth and retention
- Show appreciation for your employee as a whole person, not just the tasks they’ve completed – As easy as it is to say “thank you” for a job well done, it is important to periodically expand that idea even further. Let your employee know how their continued hard work is contributing to company success and meeting strategic objectives
- Share your perks – Do you have perks as a leader like a special parking space or company memberships to gyms or social clubs? By sharing your own personal perks, you show your employees just how much they matter to you by temporarily dismantling the power structure between you and offering your respect to them as a hard-working individual
- Provide regular opportunities for advancement – People want to know that their hard work has the potential to pay off in terms of promotions, pay raises, etc. Reward initiative with opportunities for cross-training, continuing education courses, or being invited to serve on committees where their special skills and talents can be acknowledged with room to grow
- Plan a company-wide event – Coordinate a potluck or company-sponsored lunch with the purpose of encouraging employees to mingle and socialize outside of their own departments. Just like with Thanksgiving, bringing your employees together over food can help to increase bonding, sense of teamwork, and feelings of appreciation
- Learn your coworkers’ interests – Acknowledge your employees as individuals with lives outside of just work. Take the time to make light conversation and ask them about their hobbies and interests. Showing genuine interest in your workmates causes people to feel valued, understood, and cared about. Regularly follow up on how things in their lives are going
- Encourage a culture of group support – As the employer, you can encourage a culture of appreciation in which all members of your team spread the love. You can encourage your team members to leave notes of encouragement, praise, and thanks for one another, for example
Do you want to learn even more about how to build effective teams, productive work environments built on mutual respect, and how to show your employees just how much you appreciate them and all their hard work? You can show your employees gratitude by checking out KnowledgeCity’s course on High-Performing Teams where you will be presented with training methods and leadership styles and team-building strategies. The more you practice gratitude and giving thanks, the better your work teams will thrive.