Knowledge Center / Blog
Leading with Gratitude in Uncertain Times
Showing gratitude to employees is the easiest, fastest, and most inexpensive way to boost employee performance, especially during these trying times. Now more than ever, each of us needs reassurance and appreciation for the efforts we make. People are fighting fears about the pandemic, and juggling home and work which now has no boundaries for many employees. Almost every employee needs to hear that their dedication and efforts are worthwhile and appreciated.
Employee engagement and motivational experts Chester Elton and Adrian Gostick have identified several insights to help business leaders lead with gratitude:
- Don’t let the myths hold you back. There are several myths that may be holding leaders back from recognizing the power and value of gratitude in the workplace, including believing:
- people today want way too much praise;
- there isn’t time for gratitude;
- gratitude should be saved for those who deserve it most; or,
- gratitude will come across as insincere.
These myths create an ingratitude gap between awareness of the benefits gratitude brings and failure to show it properly, or when it can truly make a difference. Close the gap by showing gratitude every day.
- See and express. Be mindful of “seeing” great work or great effort or great behavior. “Express” your gratitude in a way that the individual prefers receiving gratitude. This may require you to hop out of your comfort zone, but it will benefit the organization each time you see and express. (We find The 5 Languages of Appreciation at Work to be a great guide for us.)
- Solicit and act on input while assuming positive intent and looking for small wins. Soliciting and acting upon employee input alone can raise morale. Small steps taken towards company goals and values is worthy of acknowledgement. That ongoing cumulative effect of providing gratitude can help make your employees feel they are making daily progress, and guard against burnout.
- Give it now, give it often, do not be afraid. Rewarded behavior gets repeated and delaying an expression of gratitude prevents effective positive reinforcement. By checking in with your staff and helping them see they’ve made appreciable progress each day, you can boost engagement, especially if the gratitude is aligned with what’s most valuable at your organization.
- Gratitude is not simply about being nice. Being sincere, thoughtful, and intentional in your gratitude efforts and creating that human connection is the key to gratitude. Gratitude is a skill that can be learned by everyone.
Given today’s new reality, new stressors and strains, saying thank you and acknowledging a person’s work, effort or behavior may be more needed and far more rewarding than we may realize.
Working with The Employer Group’s expert payroll and HR representatives allows us to handle your administrative duties so you can focus on providing gratitude to your employees that will keep them motivated and engaged through these trying times.