It’s well known that people like to feel appreciated at their job — in fact, it is one of the most sought-after rewards in the workplace. Not only does it create job satisfaction, but it also results in higher productivity and employee retention while building trust and engagement.
Motivation runs deeper than just money. Bonuses are great, but recognizing an employee’s hard work with verbal appreciation, thoughtful gifts, or a handwritten note personalized to the recipient can help your company culture skyrocket.
Why saying ‘Thank you’ matters
Gratitude is not only polite, but it is also powerful.
Regular appreciation and praise can have a significant impact on your firm and how it operates. You have the ability to increase your team’s morale, productivity, and engagement, all with a simple thank you. Often your best people don’t realize how valued they are unless you make a habit of letting them know. Research shows that when employees receive gratitude, their motivation and sense of value increase, which in turn increases positive interactions with colleagues and clients.
A lack of gratitude for your team can result in losing your top talent. In fact, 79 percent of workers who recently left their job cite a lack of appreciation as their main reason. Most people don’t leave their job due to a lack of money, but they leave because of their manager. In an effort to resolve this problem, more and more industries are adopting recognition programs, which has presented an impressive result in performance.
Studies show that when the practice of employee appreciation and gratitude is introduced to workplaces, behavior starts to change in positive ways, including a significant decrease in stress levels, a greater sense of achievement and satisfaction, and an overall improvement in workplace culture.
How to thank and motivate your team
How you thank your team is just as crucial as actually thanking them. How, when, and why you thank your team matters. People are unique, and each of us has a different way of feeling appreciated. Some like words of encouragement, while others prefer receiving gifts. Look for ways to say thanks in a way that connects with each individual person.
Show your staff that you understand them. There are many ways to do so, such as writing a heartfelt personal note, giving a thoughtful gift, or even writing them a letter of recommendation:
- A personal, handwritten note. Kind words go far. While it’s easy to send a quick message via chat or email, take a moment to write your teammate a note by hand. The same thing you read in an email feels so much more impactful when written by hand. It’s one of the best ways to thank your team and costs you nothing.
- A thoughtful gift. Do you know what your team is passionate about? Do you know what they love outside of work? Buying a thoughtful gift based on your employee’s interests can make all of the difference. All those little conversations throughout the year are the perfect opportunity to learn about them and what drives them — this pays off when trying to think of the perfect gift for each person you want to recognize.
- Document their accomplishments. Documenting their accomplishments is the perfect way to show your employees how much you appreciate them and in exactly what ways. By telling them how you appreciate them and showing you noticed something they did, you let them know exactly where they stand and how they are doing in their position. It allows them to know how valuable you think they are and their career potential.
Say thank you, even if you need to put reminders on your calendar to do it if it doesn’t come naturally. We don’t stop often enough to acknowledge what our team has done and celebrate their successes. An unsaid thank you is a wasted opportunity to improve every aspect of your team and make it a better place for everyone to work.