Savvy HR: Train Managers in the Art of Thanking Employees

Make training managers in thanking employees a workplace priority this year!

Thanking employees effectively is an important skill. Are your managers learning it?

Happy New Year! Is thanking employees more frequently in 2018 on your management team’s list of resolutions?

How about a “Thank You training”? Make it a company resolution this year to train managers in the art of thanking employees!

January is National Thank You Month. This year, do more than resolve to thank people more. It’s time to recognize that showing appreciation isn’t just a nice-to-have soft skill but integral to successfully managing a team.

A recent HR Dive Spotlight on workplace culture includes a focus on meshing training with company culture.

“Walk into just about any company that says it prioritizes culture and you’ll see it in everything, from the casual dress code to the cool furniture. But can the same be said for training and professional development?” writes HR Dive’s Tess Taylor.

“To an up-and-coming generation of talent, what and how you teach them has a great deal of importance,” Taylor writes.

It’s not enough to include a line in the new-hire training manual about how your company values employee appreciation. To meaningfully demonstrate your company’s commitment to a culture of gratitude, managers need coaching in how to build that culture.

3 Benefits to Teaching the Art of Thanking Employees

Don’t assume that managers understand the value of employee recognition, or have the skills to communicate appreciation effectively and sincerely. Many managers aren’t hired or promoted based on people skills, but on other skills and expertise related to the job.

Employee recognition training at its best teaches managers why recognizing and thanking employees is so vital to engagement and productivity.

Companies that focus on the ‘why’ of learning often have training programs that are far better aligned with their cultures, according to HR Dive.

“Companies will get better performance from employees when they spend more time helping people understand the essence of what they do and focus on the experience of why they can benefit from doing things a certain way,” WalkMe president and co-founder Rephael Sweary tells HR Dive.

Three core benefits emerge from teaching managers the art of thanking employees:

1. It’s good for business.

A 2017 study from Human Capital Institute and the International Coach Federation found that a “strong coaching culture” is linked to higher engagement and better financial performance, according to the Association for Talent Development.

Companies that put a high value on coaching employees have a larger percentage of highly engaged employees than other organizations (61 percent vs. 53 percent) and 46 percent reported that their 2016 revenue growth was above that of their peers, compared with 39 percent of organizations without a strong coaching culture.

2. It fosters a mission-driven environment.

There’s some confusion over what constitutes a “culture” in the workplace.

“This just in: happy hours, Christmas parties, pizza lunches and ping-pong tables do not a culture make,” Conversable founder and CEO Ben Lamm quips in a recent Entrepreneur column.

When it comes to thanking employees, it’s not necessarily what you do, it’s how you do it. The office pizza party is a fun perk but it doesn’t say “Thank You” — the manager who gets up and gives a heartfelt speech of thanks at the pizza party does.

Moreover, effectively communicated gratitude that comes directly from managers builds employee trust in the company mission. It provides a direct correlation between a job well done and a mission well served. And ultimately, that’s what creates a company culture: a mission that unites employees.

3. It builds manager confidence and unlocks employee potential

Without the proper training, busy managers are apt to see thanking employees as just another duty in an already overbooked schedule, and lacking the skills to effectively do it, managers may resent a task they feel ill-equipped to perform.

Employee recognition training gives them confidence and guidance. It sends a clear message that their ability to recognize employees day in and day out is a value to the company. In turn, they’ll be rewarded by a motivated, happy team — truly a partnership.

“Instead of minimizing the contribution of employees to a ‘what have you done for me lately’ arrangement, healthy workplaces pivot right. The pivot right focuses on unlocking each employee’s potential. In place of a transactional employment arrangement, viewing employees’ potential is a partnership,” according to Inc.

For National Thank You Month in January, make an investment in thanking employees — and training managers to do it better! You’ll see benefits all year long.

Download Your 2018 Employee Celebration Calendar

Invigorate your employee experience planning for 2018! Download gThankYou’s FREE “2018 Day-to-Day Employee Celebration Calendar” today and start building an everyday culture of appreciation employees will love.

We’ve updated our annual day-to-day appreciation calendar with lots of new topics, new case studies and even more holidays and reasons to celebrate! As in previous years, the gThankYou calendar is jam-packed with insights into the latest HR trends, how-to tutorials for engaging and thanking employees, case studies to inspire you, examples of holidays to celebrate each month, and research statistics to help you make the business case for appreciation.

Download yours FREE today!

Download gThankYou's 2018 Employee Appreciation Calendar Now!

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. Find out more: gThankYou Gift Certificates.

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.

To learn more about gThankYou, watch our “About Us” Video and visit gThankYou today!

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gThankYou, LLC ( is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at [email protected] or 888-609-2234.

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