It's no secret that when employees feel appreciated, they are more engaged. However, managers and team members still have a tough time understanding how to express gratitude in the workplace. Recent research has found that two-thirds of employees feel unappreciated by their employer daily, and 59 percent say they've never had a boss who truly appreciates their work. As a result, almost 50 percent of people leave their job because they don't feel valued.
Is it difficult to express gratitude? No. What's stopping you or your boss from doing it? Is it the fear of being vulnerable, not wanting to give what we're not getting from other people, or simply because we don't know how? Whatever the case may be, we should all be expressing gratitude either verbally or written to the people we work with weekly, if not daily. Here are some scenarios of when to show appreciation and some examples of how to share it.
The Quick Turnaround
Let's be honest. When you ask for a quick turnaround, it is anything but quick and easy. It requires someone to put all other projects on hold and work tirelessly to complete a task under extreme amounts of pressure. Next time you insert a need of your own into the schedule of another employee, make sure to thank them upon request and directly after its completion.
"Thanks so much for all your hard work in getting this project to the finish line. I can only imagine how challenging it was to turn this around so quickly. We're so fortunate to have you on the team."
The Weekend Warrior
Just because someone is willing to work on the weekend doesn't mean they enjoy being at their computer while other people are experiencing release moments with family and friends. If one of your team members is willing to put in the extra hours, send them a note of appreciation, and find a simple way to reward them for their efforts.
"I know that you had to work on the weekend to get this done, so take tomorrow off to relax and recharge. Just turn on your out of the office, and please don't even think about checking your email."
Everyone's Under Water
Sometimes we feel that there is no reason to express gratitude to our coworkers because everyone is working hard, including us. Furthermore, you may not be receiving appreciation from other team members, so why give it out? The sharing of gratitude follows the law of reciprocity. Give it, get it back in return, and brighten up everyone's day.
"It's no secret we've been underwater lately, and I want you to know that all of your contributions have been felt, especially by me. You're an amazing asset. Let me know if I can help support you in any way."
Picking Up The Slack
Whenever there is turnover, someone has to step in and take over the employee's responsibilities that departed in the short term. However, filling that position does not happen overnight, and timeframes are usually longer than expected, leaving someone in charge of two roles feeling burnt out and honestly taken advantage of because they offered to help.
"We all know how much you've been picking up the slack while we continue the search for a new hire. To say thanks, we got you a gift certificate to get a massage to help release some of the stress."
A New Business Win
The countless hours required by team members to win a new business opportunity can be exhausting. Even though you may have expressed your thanks to the team during the presentation development process, it's equally important to recognize them after the fact. Take the time to write individual notes highlighting what each employee brought to the table.
"Wow. All I can say is that the presentation was superb. All of the thoughtfulness you put into it paid off in dividends. We have a new client, which would not have happened without you. Thank You!
A New Business Loss
It can be very defeating when employees work long hours, prepare a pitch for new business, and don't win. Instead of falling victim to feelings of regret, anger, or disappointment – lift their spirits. Take time to appreciate what went well in the process, celebrate individual achievements, and reinforce how proud you were of the team's work.
Even though we didn't win the business, I don't see this as a loss. I appreciate your help getting all team members on board with the idea and putting together a proposal that we all still believe was a fantastic piece of work.
Just Because You Care
Being part of the same organizational vision and mission requires showing appreciation to those on this journey with you. Reflect on the people you work with, and when someone helps you out, acknowledge them with a kind note. You spend most of your waking hours with co-workers. Everyone can play a role in sharing gratitude for each other to help develop unity in the workplace.
Good morning! I just wanted to say I hope you have a fantastic Monday. I know we'll connect later, but I'm excited about collaborating this week. It's always a wonderful experience working with you.
We are all leaders in this world. It's time to transform the workplace by recognizing all the people responsible for the work that gets done – day in and day out. No matter what level of the organization you are at, make an effort to appreciate someone every day, and before you know it, it will become standard practice for all.