A culture of workplace gratitude grows exponentially through one-on-one affirmation and appreciation. If you could map gratitude, it might look like the map pictured. Workplace gratitude builds a network of widespread positive connections that reinforce and build upon each other.
Distributed workforces pose a unique challenge to building these “gratitude connections.”
When employees work in a single, centralized location, it’s easier to say “thank you” face-to-face and celebrate successes together. A distributed workforce, however — with employees in satellite offices, at home, on the road, or in warehouses or other facilities besides company headquarters — can default to a culture of disconnection.
But with coordinated planning and effort, distributed workforces can share a strong, dynamic culture of workplace gratitude, too.
Why bother? Because study after study proves that engaged, appreciated employees perform better, work harder and stay longer.
Positive communication, tracked recognition and locally empowered gift-giving can transform a disengaged distributed workforce with high turnover into a humming engine of gratitude and dedication.
Just called to say “Thank You”
It’s district and regional managers’ responsibility to cultivate workplace gratitude – yet all too often, managers only communicate with their local offices when something goes awry, according to Chester Elton and Adrian Gostick, authors of The Orange Revolution: How One Great Team Can Transform an Entire Organization.
In an interview with CBS Money Watch, the authors point out how employee recognition gets shorted.
“How long does it take for a manager to connect with a remote employee who has done something wrong? About a minute. How long does it take for that manager to connect with a remote employee who has done something right? Maybe never.”
In contrast, smart managers of distributed workforces connect right away when things go right and make it easier for others to do the same, according to Elton and Gostick.
Successful managers of distributed workforces:
- Stay connected with remote employees
- Send handwritten notes to employees
- Recognize people via social media
- Bring remote employees together often
- Present tangible awards to those who have done above-and-beyond work
- Ensure that teammates have easy on- and offline ways to thank each other, such as an intranet bulletin board or a stack of simple recognition notes and other inexpensive awards to mail to each other or share in person.
The ADP @ Work blog has more great ideas on improving engagement within distributed workforces. More communication, not less, is always better.
“Even if you think you are communicating clearly, you — and anyone else communicating remotely — might need to repeat, clarify and open up conversations to make sure you’ve understood your employees and your employees have heard you. Otherwise, employees may find it hard to circle back to ask just one quick question.”
Open lines of communication are key. Cultivating workplace gratitude doesn’t only mean saying “thank you.” Sometimes, it means simply listening. Employees who feel heard are more likely to have a “sense of ownership in the company’s image, reputation and long-term growth,” according to the Chron.com article, “How to Make Employees Feel That Their Opinions Count.”
Distributed workforce gift-giving involves coordinating a whole lot of people and variables — local, regional and national managers, a centralized HR department, logistics of geography, and more.
With so many people and variables in the mix, it’s important to track employee recognition so nobody is neglected or forgotten. Everyone is in the loop when a recognition program is trackable.
That’s why gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude are so valuable in a distributed workforce setting. They are easy to personalize and share with employees. And since gThankYou! Gift Certificates can be redeemed at any major grocery store, they’re suitable for employees from Maine to Alaska. Not only that, gThankYou! gift certificates can be modified for any level of recognition program, from basic to strategic.
Empowered local managers
Local supervisors know their employees, know the local culture and have informed opinions on how and when to recognize employees and grow their local workplace gratitude. Don’t take that away from them!
Instead, use their insider knowledge as a guide and empower them in the employee appreciation and gift-giving processes. Local supervisors are the ones to make company appreciation and thank-you gifts more personable, intelligent and focused.
One easy way to empower local managers is gThankYou’s large-company order system. We call it SLOOP (System for Large Order Online Processing). SLOOP is a simple system for local managers to plan, purchase and present employee thank-you gifts quickly and cost-effectively.
SLOOP enables gThankYou! customers to offer a pre-determined assortment of products and customized thank-you cards to location managers, along with your negotiated pricing and location-specific order summaries. Orders ship directly and can be timed for a company-wide delivery date or shipped immediately.
Here at gThankYou! we have years of experience helping organizations coordinate gifts for distributed workforces, and we’ve developed SLOOP based on what we’ve learned. SLOOP makes the process as smooth as possible while meeting your company’s individual needs.
workplace gratitude is for everyone
Workplace gratitude isn’t a privilege reserved for corporate headquarters. People working together anywhere, even remotely, can cultivate workplace gratitude. Start today by choosing smarter, intentional communication: widen your employee recognition and empower local managers to do what they do best.
For an in-depth guide to building a vibrant, everyday culture of workplace gratitude, download our FREE eBook, “Transforming Your Workplace with Gratitude.” You’ll be amazed at how easy it is!
About gThankYou, LLC
Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.
gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.
gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-484-1658.
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