We talk a lot on gThankYou’s Celebrating Work blog about why sharing gratitude and showing appreciation are so essential in the workplace, but what about the how? What are the best practices for sharing your employee thank you?
The basics of are the same, whether you’re emailing an employee who recently stood out, throwing a recognition party, coordinating handwritten notes to accompany gifts that celebrate a recent company achievement, or overseeing a workplace-wide employee recognition program.
Gratitude can take many forms (here are a few of our recent ideas), but the message should be consistent. Consider the following Dos and Don’ts as you start planning how to word and share your employee thank you.
DON’T be vague. “Thanks for all your hard work!” may be a well-intentioned and sincere sentiment, but it could apply to any employee who worked hard — and hopefully that’s everybody. It sends the message, “You’re just like everyone else, and anyone could do your job.” Make the recipient feel special by praising him or her for a specific project, idea, action or quality (speed, thoroughness, brilliant problem-solving). If you’re unsure of specifics, ask those who do know, such as a shift manager, team leader or close coworker. A little footwork for specifics could go along way in helping your workforce feel appreciated.
DO consider employee personality in your “thank you” and empower each person accordingly. “Leadership is about empowering others to realize their own abilities. Communicate your belief in your people, and watch them rise to meet your expectations,” writes Geil Browning, founder of Emergenetics International, for Inc. Browning shares her research-based tips for recognizing and praising a variety of personality types, from the gregarious to the analytical. For example, an assertive person will appreciate hearing, “Thank you for keeping the momentum going!”, while a more laid-back person would like to hear, “Thank you for helping keep the peace.” The takeaway? It takes all kinds. Each of us, no matter our personality or style, has a valuable quality to contribute in the workplace. Honor this in your employee “thank you.”
DON’T wait to share your gratitude. Every day you wait, the likelihood grows that your employees will feel ignored. Lack of recognition drives turnover and the research and data overwhelmingly show that a praised employee is a productive and committed employee.
DO balance gratitude between individuals and teams. After all, teamwork plays a major role in workplace performance. For consistency, Snowfly founder Dr. Brooks Mitchell recommends that employers follow a 75/25 rule when administering incentive programs. “A well-balanced performance-reward program consists of 75 percent emphasis on individual behavior and 25 percent emphasis on team behavior,” Mitchell writes in his white paper “Individual vs. Team Rewards.”
DO go out of your way to learn about an employee’s family, hobby and weekend plans. “Your genuine interest — as opposed to being nosey — causes people to feel valued and cared about,” writes Susan M. Heathfield for About.com Human Resources. Additionally, if you know an employee well enough, you’ll be better equipped to occasionally and spontaneously show your gratitude by sharing an appropriate small gift. A thoughtful, unexpected gift will certainly brighten the employee’s day. But sharing your sincere and specific thanks will make the most difference.
For more 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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