Leaders, it is important to thank the people who work with you and for you. And you can’t thank them enough, as long as it is sincere.
1st Rule: No task is too small to be appreciated
Make “thank you” a part of your daily vocabulary. It’s not about the big bonus at the end of the year, but thanking people consistently and regularly so they don’t have to wait until December to be appreciated.
You’re not Santa Claus, show up year round with appreciation and gratitude.
Thank people in meetings, on the phone, face to face. Thank people for showing up on time, for agreeing to take on a new task, for completing a task. Thank people for being there, for their creativity, flexibility, and willingness to work under ridiculous timelines to meet client demands.
Lack of appreciation can cause employee burnout and dissatisfaction, people hate it if they think no one recognizes the work that they do.
Sprinkle gratitude around like fairy dust and those around will feel valued and respected. People who feel valued and respected will be more engaged and satisfied with their work.
And that means increased productivity and retention.
2nd Rule: Appreciation doesn’t have to cost you
There are lots of ways to show employees that they are appreciated; it can certainly be a bonus, but it doesn’t have to cost you money. It could be a weekly, monthly, or annual event to honor and thank employees. You can have an employee of the month program or offer other perks to high performing employees like preferred parking spaces.
And what about your policies…do they reflect gratitude and appreciation?
Think about it. Do your organizational policies and practices have appreciation built into them?
- Do our policies support and empower our employees in and outside of work? (Consider your paid or sick leave, child care, health insurance, work schedules, etc.)
- Does the culture of our organization support and empower employees? What’s the vibe? (Do people feel free to express themselves, empowered to resolve conflict with one another, be creative and innovative?)
- How does my team know I appreciate them? Are they engaged, connected, respectful, eager to please?
Even the smallest changes in policies can result in your team feeling more appreciated and improving their performance. Try providing higher quality coffee and see what happens.
There are so many things you can do today for zero to very little money to increase your teams level of engagement, performance, and productivity.
Not to mention, your effectiveness as a leader so go, get out of here, and go thank someone.
For more on gratitude read: