Workplace Gratitude - Employees Holding Hands

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How much does it cost to not share your workplace gratitude by saying “thank you” to your employees? About $2,730 annually per employee, according to a recent Monster.com.uk survey.
The U.K.’s Monster.com site found “that the price of a ‘thank you’ was as much as £134 ($79) a month,” reports Workplace Savings and Benefits. “On average, employees would want to be paid an extra £1,608 ($2,730) a year for never being thanked at work to compensate for the lack of appreciation.”
Pricey, right? And that’s just from the lack of “a simple verbal thank you.” Think how much value you add to your company when you cultivate a vibrant culture of workplace gratitude!
Here are five companies that have found specific, accountable and effective ways to shine at building workplace gratitude and business success.
1. Tyson Foods: “We Actually Care”
A brand’s social media strategy is meaningless without a company philosophy that supports it. Susan Beebe, Tyson Foods‘ Manager of Social Media and Online Communities, knows this.
She’s mirroring how the company interacts internally with how she directs the external communication with customers. She tells Social Media Today, “As a culture, we’re very open and transparent internally. […] I want people to know that we exist in social, we’re listening, and yes, that social media is a platform Tyson cares about and we will communicate with you on. If we weren’t listening, it’d die.  We want to grow that.  Not just because we have to but because we actually care.”
Listen to the words she chooses: “Not just because we have to…” This is fundamentally the essence of true gratitude — doing something not because you’re told to, but because you want to. An example of this at Tyson is its commitment to hiring military veterans through its “Camo to Khaki” program, (click to see the program video). An employer builds goodwill and a healthy culture of workplace gratitude when it values commitment to and from employees as much as customer loyalty. It’s worth noting that Tyson is among Fortune’s Most Admired Companies this year.
2. Celgene Corp.: “Big-company success with small-company feel”
Why do you do the work you do? Successful companies know the answer to this question, and make sure their employees do, too. Celgene, a biopharmaceutical developer based in Summit, New Jersey, gives employees the opportunity to regularly interact with the patients who rely on the company’s therapies to improve and sustain their lives.
“We like to say we have big-company success with small-company feel … where each of us comes to work every day understanding our unique role and firmly believing that we not only can make a difference but we make the difference to patients every day, worldwide,” Alan Colowick, M.D., a Celgene president, tells Business Insider. “We are continuing to build a company where every employee’s best work is supported and celebrated for the impact it has on patients’ lives.”
Calgene has ranked first for two consecutive years on Business Insider’s Best Employers in America list, which is based on research data from PayScale.
3. PepsiCo: “Thanks, Mom and Dad”
PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi surprised Fortune managing editor Andy Serwer recently when she revealed that she wrote notes to the parents of all her direct reports, thanking them “for the gift” of their son or daughter and what a wonderful job he or she was doing.

“And it opened up emotions of the kind I have never seen,” Nooyi said. “Parents wrote back to me, and all of a sudden, parents of my direct reports, who are all quite grown-up, and myself, we had our own communication. And one executive, I remember, he went home and he said to his mom, ‘You know, my boss is really giving me a tough time.’ And his mom told him, ‘Nuh-uh, not about her. She’s my friend!'”

The thank-you note experiment led Nooyi to another experiment in gratitude, in which she identified and spent several days of small-group quality time with the 200 PepsiCo employees “who could be the future and the soul of the company.”

4. Brimmer & Heeltap: “Our Family Meal”
Brimmer & Heeltap is a bistro-pub in the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard. The restaurant was featured recently in Seattle Weekly for its interesting take on the industry standard of serving employees a meal before or after their shift. The late-night feast, dubbed “Our Family Meal,” can’t just be scraped-together leftovers — it has to be quality cuisine that customers can partake in as well.
Chef Mike Whisenhunt tells reporter Nicole Sprinkle, “I’ve come from many a restaurant that have little to no family meals, or it’s been disgraceful when we’ve had it. How can I expect our cooks to make great food when they’re not eating it? My goal is that we’re cooking food for customers that we’d serve ourselves.”

It also adds value to jobs that don’t pay high wages: “I want to take care of my team as best I can. Everyone is worth so much more than what I can give them financially,” Whisenhunt says.

Sprinkle discovered that other Seattle-area restaurants are also putting thought into their after-work employee meals, as a way to boost morale, build community and relax after a long day of serving customers.

5. The Grateful Dead: “Just Keep Truckin’…”
99U’s Scott McDowell writes a compelling summary of why the band that stayed together 30-plus years and built a loyal fan following is an inspiration for business leaders.
One of McDowell’s points stands out as a way to build workplace gratitude: don’t stand in the way of the people who care about you most. McDowell is talking about the band’s legendary fans, Deadheads, who were free to record concerts and share the tapes. But it could apply just as well to any company’s employees. People who feel trusted respond with loyalty and gratitude. Deadheads followed the band for years, happy to pay to see their favorite band perform.
For more tips and ideas on building a culture of appreciation in your workplace, download our FREE Guide to Workplace Gratitude. Click the image below and start sharing your gratitude today!
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