Today is World Gratitude Day! Celebrated every Sept. 21, it’s a holiday started by the United Nations more than 40 years ago. It’s also known as the International Day of Peace.
In the workplace, World Gratitude Day is for celebrating the power of “Thank You” — from company leaders to employees, between coworkers, from employees to customers and, ultimately, as a building block for a culture of gratitude.
The scientific argument for showing more gratitude in the workplace is strong and backed by rigorous research.
Numerous studies have shown the benefits of gratitude and the ill effects of a lack of gratitude — job dissatisfaction, turnover, absenteeism, burnout, gossip, negativity and exploitation.
But one of the best arguments we’ve heard for thanking employees is actually personal.
“No, I Won’t Thank My Employees for Doing Their Job,” is a Forbes column by Liz Ryan, CEO and founder of Human Workplace and author of the Reinvention Roadmap.
The column is Ryan’s response to a manager who thinks he shouldn’t have to thank his employees because “it’s a business relationship.”
The manager tells Ryan, “Maybe I am a cynic but I don’t understand why I need to thank someone for doing their job. My employees get paid.”
“No one thanks me for doing my job. We are adults. Isn’t it appreciation enough for me to give someone a paycheck every two weeks?” he asks.
Her response is perfect.
Why You Need to Thank Employees on World Gratitude Day (and Every Day!)
What’s so great about Ryan’s response to the manager is that she doesn’t berate him for his callous attitude. She sympathizes with him.
For me the most important line in your letter is this: “No one thanks me for doing my job.” That is a shame. It is okay to be sad when you work hard and don’t feel appreciated.
Her response gets to the heart of why it’s so important to create a culture of gratitude that extends to every department and level of a business operation.
Managers who don’t feel appreciated (an awful feeling!) won’t be very willing extend gratitude to their employees. Ryan writes:
When you say “No one thanks me for doing my job” you suggest that you might appreciate a little more recognition — because it hurts to be unappreciated.
That’s an emotional reaction on your part — and a completely reasonable one. It’s okay to be human at work. It’s essential, in fact!
But for workplace leaders, the solution isn’t to demand more appreciation. It’s to give it. Leadership sets the tone for the workplace. When leaders exude gratitude, it sets off a chain reaction that builds a culture of gratitude that eventually circles back and betters the workplace for everyone.
They say the best remedy for hurt feelings is to work out the emotions by helping someone else. You can look at your effort to thank and acknowledge your employees as a step on a new path — one that will enrich you as much as it does them.
She admits it may be hard at first to extend these Thank You’s, but it’s the best way forward.
You are learning to step out of fear and into trust. Millions of people around the world have business relationships that are also warm and friendly. That is the best way to work!
In the end, employees deserve appreciation. Everyone deserves appreciation. And the price is right, Ryan writes.
It costs you nothing. It builds trust and makes people feel better. Why withhold the gift of recognition, only because you don’t get enough recognition yourself? … Your employees work hard. They are humans, and humans thrive on reinforcement.
What a wonderful sentiment and inspiration. Happy World Gratitude Day, everyone!Read More
Gratitude activities for the workplace help build a kinder, happier and more purposeful culture — and more dedicated, productive, loyal employees.
Culture is a main sticking point for companies struggling with disengagement, turnover and low morale.
“People want to work for a company that has a culture of recognizing great work effort, great workers and actions that help grow the company,” Brian Sommer, a technology services analyst, writes for Diginomica.
“This is the real recognition and reward challenge: getting a company to alter its culture and management practices to reward people who exhibit the behaviors that drive corporate success,” Sommer writes.
Fixing bad workplace culture takes a renewed focus on rewards and recognition — but not as “an afterthought or bolt-on capability.”
True cultural transformation happens when a) employee recognition is part of a greater shift toward a culture of gratitude, and b) company executives are 100 percent on-board.
“Why executives? Because cultural change is not the responsibility of HR alone and it can’t be fixed by a mandate, technology or HR. It needs the support of all executives and management,” Sommer writes.
One easy, practical way to help build a culture of gratitude is to involve employees and executives alike in a series of gratitude activities for the workplace.Read More
What does workplace gratitude in action look like?
In the aftermath of the devastating hurricanes Harvey and Irma, it looks like employees uniting to help those in need in their community — or even thousands of miles away.
Workplace volunteerism is a powerful way to build teamwork skills, engage employees, increase generosity and make a difference. Increasingly, opportunities to engage with and give back to the community are what employees (and potential employees) expect.
People want to work for a company they can believe in, that aligns with their values.
A spirit of workplace volunteerism can only thrive in a culture of gratitude. The opposite kind of culture, where incivility and rudeness rule, takes a costly toll on employees, according to new research.
Leadership coach Tanveer Naseer believes in the benefits of expressing gratitude in the workplace, particularly as a model for more effective leadership.
Besides fueling internal motivation, gratitude is a “powerful reminder of how we need each other to succeed and thrive — that our accomplishments are not ours alone, but something to be shared and celebrated collectively,” he writes.
Best of all, it “allows us to see the best in those around us, and how they help us to do and be better.”
Next week is World Gratitude Day — Thursday, Sept. 21 — so what better time to celebrate workplace gratitude in action? We’re seeing a lot of it in the news these days as communities rally to help hurricane victims.Read More
What goes great with your workplace Thanksgiving celebration? Turkey vouchers for employees!
A gift certificate for a turkey is an affordable yet meaningful way to share a classic employee holiday gift. And by giving vouchers instead of actual turkeys, your team avoids the hassle of handling and storing a large number of frozen birds. It’s a win for everyone!
gThankYou! Turkey Vouchers (or Turkey Or Ham Vouchers) make it easy to reward and thank your staff with a gift they’ll remember all year. Recipients love the ability to choose the turkey that’s best for their family holiday celebration — gThankYou Turkey Vouchers are redeemable for any brand of whole turkey, at virtually all major grocery stores in the U.S.
Because a turkey is the Thanksgiving meal centerpiece, it carries the symbolism of holiday gratitude and family togetherness. As a gift, it lets your employees know you care.
Plus, it’s a practical gift your employees will be able to share with family and friends.
gThankYou! Turkey Vouchers are easy to order: online or call us at 888-484-1658. They come with free personalization and free customizable ‘Thank You’ Enclosure Cards. Even better, we ship same day so you can have your order as fast as tomorrow.
Order America’s Favorite Turkey Vouchers™ today and let us take care of the logistics of your holiday appreciation so you can focus on what’s really important: thanking employees and celebrating the joy of the season together!Read More
Engaging blue-collar workers may be one of the biggest engagement challenges facing HR today.
Hourly workers are unhappier than salaried workers in many job aspects, according to recently released Gallup poll data.
A Harvard Business Review analysis concluded, “People working blue-collar jobs report lower levels of overall happiness in every region around the world. This is the case across a variety of labor-intensive industries like construction, mining, manufacturing, transport, farming, fishing and forestry.”
Retention is a big problem, too. The “new blue-collar” industries, such as foodservice and hospitality, grapple with it on even bigger scales.
And there’s the skills gap.
The historical loss of manufacturing jobs has hurt communities across the U.S., yet currently “a significant number of manufacturing jobs remain open with not enough people to fill them,” according to HR Dive. “The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) predicts that U.S. companies will be facing two million job vacancies by 2025. And the American Welding Society contends that manufacturing industries will need 300,000 welders and welding instructors by 2020.”
One expert, Jobcase CEO Fred Goff, tells HR Dive he blames the skills gap on an “image problem.” Young people for decades have understood that the best way to a rewarding career is through a college degree and a job in finance, marketing, law, engineering or teaching.
“The ‘image problem’ that these blue-collar fields face has finally come home to roost — and employers are struggling to make up the difference,” according to HR Dive.Read More
A workplace Thanksgiving celebration lets employees know how grateful you are for their hard work, at a time of year when gratitude is on everyone’s minds already.
Now’s the time to start planning.
Early planning for a workplace Thanksgiving celebration means that, come holiday-time, you and your management team will be able to focus on celebrating with employees.
And that’s key for any employee appreciation effort. Leadership needs to be present and engaged for a celebration to really work. Leaders set the tone.
If employees sense that company leaders don’t care, even the most dazzling party and generous gifts won’t matter.
“For supervisors, managers, business owners and other organization leaders, the Thanksgiving holiday is an excellent reminder to both remember and communicate the most valuable asset in your workplace — the people who work there,” according to Paul White, psychologist and workplace communication expert.