Retention Problems? Build a Thank You Culture
Build a thank you culture in your business and you’ll have loyal employees and a sustainable competitive advantage.
Workplace culture is top of mind for many companies as the economy improves. In fact, as Forbes contributor Josh Bersin writes in “Culture: Why It’s The Hottest Topic In Business Today,” employees’ bargaining power has increased:
“We have a retention crisis. New Deloitte research shows that culture, engagement, and employee retention are now the top talent challenges facing business leaders. More than half of business leaders rate this issue ‘urgent’—up from only around 20% last year.”
Check out Bersin’s company culture assessment tools and keep reading for tips on building thank you culture in your workplace!
MANAGEMENT Must Model the way
When it comes to building your own thank you culture, remember that it has to come from the top down.
A genuine thank you culture starts with senior management recognizing direct reports. If you’re not writing personal, thoughtful notes of thanks to your reports on a regular basis, how do you expect them to treat their reports in return? Publicly praise your direct team for extra effort, great successes, moving things forward, training accomplishments, the list goes on. Encourage peer-to-peer recognition at the highest levels of your organization. Not sure where to start? What’s strategically important to your business? Make people feel valued for their contributions in those areas.
Once you’ve solidly established the behavior you want to be modeled, provide formal employee recognition training for managers, and hold them accountable for putting it into practice. Make recognition part of the fabric of your every day workplace. Recognize and reward managers for their efforts recognizing workers. Saying thank you in the workplace isn’t easy for everyone. It takes practice, reinforcement and making it a priority. If the efforts are genuine, it doesn’t long before it’s organic and self-reinforcing. Organizations like Carrots.com and Tharpe Robbins offer superb training resources.
Provide basic thank you resources like stationery and a workplace gift budget. Consider having gifts on-hand that managers can use for on-the-spot thank yous to reinforce key strategic actions. If consistent with your industry and culture, investigate social apps for fun, immediate peer recognition. Identify the behaviors you want to reinforce, and be sure to encourage it and model it daily.
A UNIQUE EXAMPLE OF a THANK YOU CULTURE
In “Building a Thank You Culture at Work: How Reward Gateway Employees Thank One Another,” engagement firm Reward Gateway writes:
“If you look at what makes a company a great place to work, one thing they nearly all have in common is their culture of workplace gratitude.”
And they should know! Reward Gateway has a special way of thanking its employees. Every quarter, the company live-streams a global business update around the world, including a ‘Thank You Awards’ segment.
Last year the segment included a video for the top 10 nominations.
“… the effect was phenomenal. This video really demonstrates why saying thank you is so worthwhile, and how it can make people feel, from London to Plovdiv and back again, in Sydney, and beyond.”
Watch the video to see how powerful a Thank You can be.
Thank You Culture Tips
When you do thank employees, be sure to:
- Be genuine
- Be specific as to why you thanking them
- Make it fun (and public) from time to time
- Involve others
- Encourage sharing via social media shoutouts
And, be consistent with your culture. Is your workplace young and fun? Shower employees with a bucket of paper Thank Yous or give a small bag of fortune cookies with notes of appreciation inside. Flaunt your gratitude socially. Is your workplace more traditional? Write personal notes of thanks, have a gratitude board for peer-to-peer recognition and offer practical gifts such as time off or a gift certificate to share with the family.
Hire for Gratitude
A successful thank you culture reinforces itself. Management puts a higher priority on cultural fit, especially capacity for engagement and compassion into the hiring mix. Employees want to love the work they do and be proud of the company they work for. It’s up to management to fulfill that expectation. If you do, you’ll have an incredibly loyal workforce and have built a valuable competitive advantage.
There’s no doubt that a simple Thank You has the power to change your workplace and your company culture. Will you take advantage of it?
For more great tips and insights into building a vibrant culture of engagement and recognition, be sure to download our free e-book, “The Top 20 Employee Engagement Blogs You Should be Reading.”
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 [email protected] or 888-484-1658.
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