Giving Thanks and Recognition at Work

Great leaders know the positive effects of employee recognition. Showing appreciation and thankfulness in the workforce helps promote healthy relationships, productivity, motivation, retention, and even overall employee morale. However, recognition can sometimes be an oversight that may be causing underlying issues. 

According to a study, 37% of workers feel that employee recognition is the most important thing to them at the office; whereas nearly half of employees say they would put more energy into their work if they were recognized more often. While receiving gratitude is imperative to the success of a company’s workforce, 65% of employees say they haven’t been recognized for their work in the past year. In the current challenges of the workplace, organizations will need to flip the script on recognition and build a culture of thankfulness in the workplace. 

Reduce Turnover by Showing Recognition 

One of the most damaging obstacles leaders face is a revolving door of talent. Each time an employee leaves, it can cost a company up to 150% of that person’s salary. From time and money spent onboarding to the weeks and months of employee acclimation and assimilation into the corporate culture, companies have a large interest in the overall investment in their workforce. While health benefits, paid time off, and other factors can affect turnover, studies show that recognition can cause a monumental shift in the turnover game. 

According to a survey, employers experience 59% fewer turnovers when workers feel recognized and engaged. Moreover, the Society for Human Resource Management found that 91% of human resource professionals believe reward and recognition programs make employees more likely to stay. Leaders who focus on showing recognition for their employees through several avenues have a better chance of securing a strong, engaged workforce. 

Increase Productivity with Happy Employees 

Creating a culture of thankfulness in the office not only drives a positive attitude among employees, but it can also increase overall productivity. One study found that businesses that have happy employees cite a 31% increase in production among their workforce, but 84% of workers are currently unhappy with their job. 

This disconnect could be attributed to a lack of recognition in the workplace. As businesses focus on increasing recognition among their staff, it is correlated with rising rates in workplace happiness. According to a survey, 93% of employees hope to be recognized for their work at least quarterly. And 75% of those who are recognized monthly, whether formally or informally, say they are satisfied in their jobs. 

Consider creating recognition and reward programs within your organization to showcase employees who go above and beyond to help encourage productivity, as well as opportunities to recognize employees in impromptu ways among their peers. 

Raise Engagement Through Thankfulness Toward Employees 

According to a 2022 Gallup survey, only 32% of U.S. workers are currently engaged in their work. Actively disengaged workers are up at 16% in 2023. While the global workforce is trending toward an ongoing employee engagement crisis, leaders can curb this issue by focusing on showing thankfulness toward their employees. Deloitte found that employee recognition increases engagement and performance by 14%, proving that recognizing workers in their roles results in “an improvement of job performance and achieving business value.” By focusing on thankfulness in the workplace, leaders can help flip the script on disengaged workers who can have lasting negative effects on the culture, as well as the engagement of their co-workers. Embrace recognition to build an engaged workforce as a foundation to sustained success. 

Tips for Creating a Culture of Thankfulness in the Office 

To ensure your office doesn’t just see transitory change but experiences the lasting effects of creating a culture of thankfulness, it’s important to not only be personally proactive, but to also encourage your team to work toward being more thankful, as well. Harvard Business Review outlined specific ways to help create a habit of being more thankful, including these steps: 

  • Write out what you are thankful for every day 
  • Write down or tell a teammate one positive thing that has happened in the past day 
  • Exercise at least 10 minutes each day 
  • Write an email each morning thanking a member on your team for a specific reason 

Consider incorporating a few of these tips in your daily work, as well as encouraging your employees to do the same. Whether it’s encouraging your team members to recognize their peers, or simply including gym memberships in your benefits platform, having a happy and productive workforce begins with an internal look on the level of recognition in your organization. 

How as a focus on recognition helped your team? What have you done to show thankfulness to your employees? Let us know in the comments section below! 

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