Gratitude, in whatever form we choose to show it goes further now than it ever has before.
From small acts of kindness to words of encouragement when they’re needed the most, gratitude continues to empower us through the pandemic as we put one foot in front of the other.
With Thanksgiving providing employees with a pause for thought during times of uncertainty, gratitude encourages us to prioritize the things that really count so we may see the future more clearly. So, when it comes to the power of gratitude, how can we show it in the workplace this holiday? And how can we wield it in a way that not only speaks truthfully – but makes employees feel part of something bigger?
The transformative powers of gratitude
A little gratitude goes a long way. So much so that it could mean the difference between someone having a good day, and someone having a bad day. Yet for some employees, gratitude goes beyond that – with a staying power that encourages them to always perform to the best of their ability.
Gratitude, above all things, is about expressing thanks for the things that matter most. In the workplace, it’s about helping your team feel valued; not just as your winning workforce, but as unique individuals all with something to bring to the table. Having gratitude for your team is crucial to keeping the team spirit alive and by giving personal thanks to employees, they can better understand what they are specifically valued for. This affords them the opportunity to feel proud of what they’ve achieved and motivated to keep going. When gratitude is shown on a personal level, it works so much harder than a simple catch-all email or chat of praise. Invest time in getting it right, and your words may make an impact larger than you could have ever imagined!
Speaking from the heart
In a corporate world that is both fast-paced and full of distractions, speaking from the heart is perhaps easier said than done. When it comes to the subject of gratitude, however, being mindful of how we approach employees is crucial – especially if we wish to convey the sentiment genuinely.
While a given for many, being sincere with employees is about having the courage to engage in what some may perceive to be “awkward” conversations. Yet whether you feel uncomfortable giving praise or an employee feels uncomfortable receiving it, there are ways to avoid the appraisal-style boardroom scenario. Whether virtually or in person, a face-to-face discussion can help share that praise in an authentic, meaningful way. Done over the phone, with cameras “off”, or even via email, and the exchange is reduced to something far less personable. In addition, showing gratitude doesn’t have to be a formal affair. Offer to meet colleagues for coffee, or schedule some downtime in your Zoom calendar. This provides the perfect setting within which to share that you care, in a more relaxed environment!
Lessons in leadership
Thanksgiving may provide the perfect opportunity for reflection, but those leaders willing to make such changes permanent will only reap the benefits later down the line. By adopting the practice of gratitude throughout the year, employers can keep their employees close by making them feel valued all year long.
In a remote/ hybrid working world dictated by the pandemic, the mental health of workforces has put leaders under increasing strain; not only to address the issue of employee wellbeing more seriously but to offer solutions to how it can be combatted. While these changes won’t happen overnight, exercising gratitude can help strengthen the lost connection between employers and their employees through times of hardship. By taking a step back to contemplate a team’s achievements, it is a leader’s responsibility to relay this information in a way that will keep employees motivated and inspired. From giving thanks in a team setting and focusing on the positives, to checking in with employees on a one-to-one basis frequently, gratitude can have an uplifting effect for everyone involved.
Make it part of the culture
As a way to foster a warm and welcoming workplace culture, gratitude can also help bring individuals closer together who may be physically working apart. Not only can this bolster relationships among employees, but encourage teams to be mindful of their achievements and proud of the business’s progress and evolution in the face of adversity.
Ingraining gratitude in workplace culture will not only make teams happier but boost productivity as a result. It may be that the practice of gratitude is also encouraged among team members to help boost morale as a whole. This could include nominating colleagues for monthly achievement awards, creating a virtual message board, or sending a weekly email that praises employees for their unsung contributions. Whichever way thankfulness is championed in the workplace, making it an integral part of the company DNA will not only help motivate employees to be their best but will also help to attract new talent as businesses plan for positive change in the future.
At ADDA Infusion, we deliver integrated and advisory Human Resources solutions to help you make meaningful changes within your business – so you can save time and focus on what you do best.
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