When was the last time you thanked your employees?
If it has been a while, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to engage employees with an attitude of gratitude.
Incorporating appreciation into an organization’s culture is probably one of the most effective ways to positively impact performance and retention. And the best part? It’s free.
According to the SHRM Online news article Workplace Thanksgiving an ‘Incredible Tool,’ gratitude “can take a variety of forms, including formal recognition programs, early dismissal before a holiday, publicly acknowledging successes and workplace celebrations.”
When managers don’t acknowledge employees’ contributions, productivity and morale will begin to erode over time. Todd Patkin, author of Finding Happiness: One Man’s Quest to Beat Depression and Anxiety and—Finally—Let the Sunshine In, says, “In so many organizations, employees go through their days assuming that their co-workers, and especially their bosses, don’t notice or appreciate all of the hard work that they do, and if that’s the way you feel, you will just go through the motions. However, tapping into the spirit of Thanksgiving can tip the balance between success and growth or stagnation and failure.”
Most employers do a fairly good job of thanking their entire organization at large group events and meetings, or via all-staff e-mails, but individual affirmation is the key to successful gratitude. Taking the time to recognize employees for their unique skills, talents and contributions, on a regular basis, can boost morale, performance and loyalty.
In 30 Days of Gratitude, executive search consultant Diane Fennig writes, "Each day, highlight someone for whom you are grateful. Share your thanks with a story, a note, a laugh or something memorable. Take this month and let the folks in your world know that they are woven into your tapestry. Be creative, make some new memories, share some old laughs. To my Human Resource colleagues, who on your teams deserves your gratitude? Who needs a reminder of their unique value to your team? Who needs a good laugh from your past? Who deserves some special attention?"
What are the keys to fostering a culture of acknowledgment and appreciation, not only during the holiday season, but all year long? What are some tips for creating an ongoing “attitude of gratitude” in your workplace, and for making it a daily habit instead of a meaningless one-time and one-size-fits-all message?
Please join @shrmnextchat at 3 p.m. ET on November 22 for #Nextchat: Creating an Attitude of Gratitude in Your Workplace with special guest Diane Fennig @FansofFennig. We'll chat about how you can create a culture of gratitude in your workplace.
Q1. How do you define gratitude?
Q2. Saying thanks doesn’t have to cost a lot or take a lot of time. What are some quick, inexpensive and creative ways people managers can say “thank you” to employees?
Q3. Lateral appreciation is equally important. How do you say thanks to your co-workers?
Q4. Personal thank yous are great, but public recognition really fuels morale and performance. How do you openly recognize employees in your organization?
Q5. How do you celebrate Thanksgiving at your organization? (A special meal for employees or another events?)
Q6. Volunteerism is a great way to encourage a culture of gratitude. Does your organization sponsor or participate in special holiday or year-long volunteer programs? (angel tree, clothing/food drive, meal preparation/delivery, Habitat for Humanity or an environmental initiative)
Q7. What and who are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving?
If you missed this #Nextchat you can see the RECAP with all the tweets here.