Employees like to be recognised for their work and sometimes simply saying the words ‘thank you’ is all it takes for them to feel appreciated in their role. In a study by the John Templeton Foundation, 70% of people said they would feel better about themselves if their employer or manager were more grateful and 81% said they would work harder. However, the same study found that people are less likely to express gratitude at work than anyplace else, with 60% saying they never express gratitude in the workplace.
Lack of gratitude negatively impacts the workplace as employees who feel unappreciated are less motivated and less loyal to their companies. A 2013 Glassdoor Employee Appreciation Survey found that 53% of employees would stay at their company longer if they felt more appreciation from their manager, while 81% said they feel motivated to work harder when their manager shows appreciation for their work.
Showing gratitude to employees has a positive impact on the workplace, here’s why:
1. Increases employee productivity: Employees who feel appreciated in their roles are more motivated to work harder. In a study at the University of Pennsylvania, researchers found that grateful leaders motivate their employees to be more productive. The study observed employees tasked with making fundraising calls and found that employees who were thanked and felt a sense of appreciation from their managers made 50% more fundraising calls than their unappreciated co-workers.
2. Increases job satisfaction: Showing gratitude to employees helps companies retain their talent as employees who feel appreciated in their roles are more likely to stick around longer.
3. Improves well-being: The success of a company depends heavily on the performance of its employees so being in good physical and mental shape is essential for an employee to be great in their role, and showing gratitude is a good way to improve well-being in the workplace. Many studies have linked gratitude to better physical health as grateful people have been found to have lower blood pressure, improved immunity, and healthier hearts.
How to show gratitude:
Say ‘thank you’: The easiest way to express gratitude towards employees is to say, ‘thank you’. It must be genuine and specific as a generalised ‘thank you’ won’t make an employee feel appreciated. The ‘thank you’ should make the employee feel special so acknowledge their strengths, talents or a specific project they worked on.
Hold gratitude meetings: Hold a special meeting once a month to focus on employees’ achievements. The meeting should recognise employees individually and praise their efforts.
Provide learning opportunities: Employees want to be given the opportunity to climb the career ladder and offering them the chance to learn and grow in the company is a great way to show gratitude. Research from ClearCompany claims that 68% of workers say training and development is the most important workplace policy. Provide employees with opportunities to upskill; they will feel valued and learn new skills that will enhance their role in the company.
Involve employees: Employers can express gratitude by involving employees in company development conversations and workplace decisions. For example, ask for their opinions on changes that might affect their work or for ideas on company progression. Employees feel valued and happier when their voices are heard and appreciated in the workplace.