As Thanksgiving approaches, we are reminded about what we should be thankful for. Responses usually vary, from family to winning football records to pumpkin pie to job security. But if you’re already mentally checked out of work thinking about your upcoming turkey coma, you are missing out on a perfect opportunity to connect gratitude with performance.
Managers have a major impact on behaviors that increase commitment. No matter what level of the workforce ladder they are on, everyone wants to feel appreciated for their hard work. General morale is highly correlated with the commitment of the work group to doing high quality work. When people feel supported, acknowledged, and respected for their work, they are likely to be dedicated to reaching their goals and loyal to the organization.
Listen, we’re not asking you to all of a sudden offer your employees a big raise because we understand budgets can be tight, but when you show appreciation or “thanks” to your employee, it can go a long way to establishing a motivated and engaged workforce.
It’s not hard to offer appreciation and acknowledgment for the good work of others, but for some managers this doesn’t come easy. Maybe they are just so occupied with their demanding responsibilities that they don’t consider the benefit of a simple thanks, or they assume their employees already know how much they are appreciated. But for the most part, employees have no idea how much they are valued at the company on a day-to-day basis.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to cultivate good interpersonal relations with your coworkers. It can be as simple as saying, “Well done” or “Nice job” to a person who contributes to your team’s performance.
Think about other ways you can show gratitude. Maybe you can let your employees leave early the day before Thanksgiving, or even give extended vacation. Let me tell you, if you can offer this – that’s a big way in achieving engagement with your workforce.
Here are some little steps you can take to show “thanks” all year around.
- What are the norms and expectations around work hours? If people are expected to work 50-80 hours per week, this is likely to have a negative impact on morale and retention. Encourage work/life balance for yourself and your team members. Are you modeling an overactive achievement motive or a strong balance motive?
- Develop a variety of ways to recognize good performance.
- At least once every day for the next two weeks, catch somebody doing something right and give that person positive feedback on it. Once you get in the habit of doing this, expressing appreciation will come more naturally to you.
- Ask advice from someone who is an acknowledged expert in an area. This is a nice acknowledgment of their abilities.
- If someone praises your team for good work, make sure you pass on the praise to others.
- Make sure you share the credit for good work with the others who have contributed to your success.
Regardless of your personal style, take the time to connect with your employees and show appreciation. You’ll be thankful you did.