What better way is there to engage employees than to make them feel good about their work life by showing gratitude?
There was a period of time not so long ago during the difficult recession of 2008 when many were happy simply to have a job, any job. Gone are those days when an employer shows gratitude by simply paying workers a fair wage for work done. Now vibrant benefits packages are a given. But all of that money invested and extra-fluffy add-on benefits mean nothing if a team member is being overworked, emotionally or verbally abused, or simply under-appreciated or neglected.
In order to garner loyalty, trust and support, leaders need to make workers feel important and valued for their contributions. I recently had a young female chemist describe to me a situation where she is constantly criticized, yet has received no formal training. What about giving her positive reinforcement when possible and using mistakes as teaching moments rather than blame and extreme criticism?
In the fast-paced world of our current economic growth, employees are expected to perform at peak levels in order to solve complicated technological and other complex problems that require a creative edge. In response to these peak performance levels some companies are responding with a variety of workplace wellness offerings, including fitness classes, stress management programs, financial wellness classes and important sleep education.
None of those expenditures pay off if an employee feels abused, neglected, or undervalued. There is nothing worse than being yelled at on a daily basis.
As a matter of fact, in a study conducted by Mental Health Association of America, 70% of employees reported not feeling appreciated.
Why do employers need to sit up and take notice? Because disengaged workers underperform, take a lot of time off from work and eventually leave, or worse, stay and create a toxic work environment. It is much more expensive to recruit and train a new employee, rather than to keep the ones you have, if they are productive. And right now, it is extremely difficult to find excellent employees.
According to a recent article in Insider Magazine (https://www.businessinsider.com/chart-job-openings-are-very-high-relative-to-unemployment-2021-7), “The record-high job openings are another sign of how hard it is for businesses to find workers right now. The US Chamber of Commerce referred to the labor shortage as ‘the most critical and widespread challenge’ to businesses. Businesses have been raising wages and offering signing bonuses to attract workers off the sidelines.”
With the number of job openings remaining at record-highs right now, it is particularly hard for businesses to find workers. So attracting and retaining top talent is of particular importance.
So, how do we make employees feel appreciated? By showing gratitude for their hard work in the following ways:
❖ Make employees feel valued by asking their opinion and then listening to them.
❖ Recognize and praise them. Praise matters more than money.
❖ Show that you care about them by taking an interest in their life outside of work.
❖ Engage teams by giving them purpose and autonomy. You’ve hired them to do a job, now show them that you can trust them to get it done, like a professional. They don’t need to be micro-managed.
❖ Finally, let’s all work to create a NO-BURNOUT ZONE in our workplaces so that we prevent burnout rather than react to it.
At one unique company, Clif Bar in Emeryville, CA, there is a strong sense of community. The CEO is open and available to everyone. When employees enter the onsite gym, the wellness attendants know employees by name.
Another company, San Francisco-based Ginger.io, a mental health support provider for Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), has a weekly community lunch, where “snaps” or praises are given, which recognize employees for a job well done.
The more you help to instill in workers a passion for your company by showing gratitude for dedication and a job well done, the higher chance that they will not only stay, but will also aid the recruiting process by referring their colleagues.
Janice Litvin helps leaders and teams banish burnout in their organizations. Get in touch to learn about her keynotes and workshops: Janice@JaniceLitvin.com or 415.518.2202.