By Cat Donovan
Big Buzz Idea Group
As industries nationwide come face-to-face with the Great Resignation, employees are carrying heavier workloads than ever before. And as a result, the workforce is taxed and experiencing burnout. The monthly job reports produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics over the past year have depicted a mass employee exodus.
Enter the great reset. The office landscape is taking different shapes and millions of Americans are going in new career directions. With this unprecedented shift comes the opportunity for business owners and managers to initiate or beef up their methods for showing gratitude to their employees. Here are six tips for cultivating a culture of gratitude in your company.
Use Team Meetings
No matter where anyone works, one thing is guaranteed: meetings. Every Monday morning staff meeting at Big Buzz Idea Group begins with “team shout-outs.” We take time to reflect on the past week’s accomplishments and recognize each other for wins both big and small.
The remote and hybrid work approach is here to stay. And with that comes the realization that employees will be virtually connected for the long term. Pre-pandemic, employees could pop by a team member’s desk to share some high-fives. Today, however, expressing gratitude might look different but is still critical to a productive environment nonetheless.
Keep It Simple and No-Cost
Simple gestures from the top can go a long way. As obvious as it sounds, just hearing “thank you” or “great job” from the boss can make an impact. Workflow is moving faster than ever these days as offices try to keep up with fewer resources and staff. Whether it can be done in-person, email or over the phone, taking that moment to hear a supervisor express their gratitude can give employees a boost. Studies have shown that those who give the praise also feel happier and more fulfilled.
Back to Basics
Don’t underestimate the value of a hand-written note. This demonstrates that you took the time to put pen to paper and mail it to the recipient. In the age of working remotely, this traditional form of longhand communication is even more meaningful when we all realize you could have just sent an email. But you took the extra time and effort into expressing thanks in a good, old-fashioned card.
Thanks Through Tech
Create a short video dedicated to showing gratitude to a specific employee. The video can be goofy and fun or sincere and thoughtful. Mention specific achievements where the employee stood out. Follow up with sending an e-gift card. Just $5 toward a cup of coffee is an appreciated gesture.
Make it an annual birthday video that includes special messages from the whole team. Even just a one- or two-minute video dedicated to an employee will leave a lasting positive impact. It’s a special gift they will want to share with their family and friends.
An unexpected gift to say “thank you” is tried and true. These items do not need to be expensive: It can be company branded merch mailed to employees’ homes, a printed certificate customized to that individual’s specific contribution, or a monthly team award. A tangible item is a lasting reminder of appreciation.
For tokens of gratitude that will cost the company a little more, a reward sure to please anyone is a paid day off. Depending on the industry, some employees may appreciate the company footing the bill for professional growth and development opportunities. Perhaps an employee has been with the company for 10 or more years. A way of saying thank you for their long-term dedication could mean paying for a class so they can gain a special certification.
Expressing authentic gratitude is as simple as getting back to basics – and in doing so, you create a lasting environment when employees feel support and appreciation. And for those companies that don’t have any employee gratitude initiatives in place, 2022 is a great time to start. Show good employees their value and that their spot on the team is indispensable. In return, you can tout your employee retention rate and your reputation as a company that cares about its workers.