Creating a Grateful Atmosphere Among Staff
America may be known as the land where everyone is created equal. The unfortunate truth is that as much as we try to embrace that ideal, some employees receive more recognition and gratitude in the workplace than others. Behind-the-scenes staff, such as custodians, cooks, and guards, often don’t receive explicit gratitude. Neither do entry-level employees or those who complete basic tasks as part of a company’s larger purpose. Expressing thanks to every staff member no matter his or her duties is crucial for the workplace’s morale. Today, we’ll show you how to create a grateful atmosphere among staff.
Avoid Canned Praise
If you praise employees for every little thing they do, or make praise non-specific, they will soon catch on to the fact that it’s preplanned and possibly insincere. They’ll probably feel patronized or as if you’re sugar-coating the reality of their job performance. This can make employees nervous; they may become so busy watching for mistakes that they can’t perform duties effectively. Instead of canned praise, make your observations timely, specific, and authentic.
Praise exemplary performance or innovative ideas. For example, if Sarah the IT specialist has recently figured out how to rid the computer system of a virus, that’s more praiseworthy than the fact she knows Excel from Microsoft Access. If you catch your creative consultant Martin developing a great idea on Tuesday, don’t wait until Friday to thank him at a weekly meeting.
Make Employees Feel Valued
Cash motivators have their place, but never overuse them. Instead, focus on making each employee feel important. Andrew the janitor may like his job, but he may also feel he’s unimportant because he does “unskilled” work. Make it clear that cleanliness and organization keeps your company running – and that you could not accomplish that without him. Do the same for Maria, a millennial who may be discouraged because she’s thirty and at an entry-level job. Observe her gifts, appropriately praise her potential, and offer her motivations, such as a mentorship or extra time doing tasks that interest her.
Focus on the Big Picture
Gratitude and praise will positively influence your entire organization, leading to employee satisfaction, increased productivity, and enhanced quality of final products. Keep this in mind when you show gratitude to staff. Always use staff members’ names; it shows you recognize them as people. If you are a supervisor, focus on how positive behavior makes you feel. Say something like, “Colleen, I appreciate you coming in early to show the trainees the ropes this week. It tells me I’m part of a reliable team.”