Have you said thank you to your employees today?

A little gratitude can go a long way


A little gratitude can go a long way

I talk a lot about how to recognise your employees and reward them as a way to increase productivity. Engaging and motivating teams drive performance. It’s a simple equation: happy employees = high productivity and discretionary effort = increased profits.

Most people I talk to about this agree with me. The statistics show the benefits to an organisation. And I know I’m not the only one saying it.

So why are only 16% of British employees being thanked by their bosses?

A survey by Podium Designs on workplace satisfaction showed that 84% of employees in Britain haven’t heard their boss say ‘thank you’ in over six months.

Recognition and reward don’t have to mean monetary reward. There are plenty of times when a business cannot afford rewards financially. Well the good news is that often the smaller things, on a regular basis, go down better than an annual pay rise or bonus.

Read: Good employees – why do they leave?

Here are 4 top tips to recognise your employees

1. Make it timely

Being recognised for a job well done is only worthwhile if done in a reasonable time frame.

The impact of a ‘Thank You’ diminishes over time, particularly if you first mention it during an annual or interim performance review. What was a great opportunity – free and quick –  to motivate a staff member has been missed if you leave the recognition to a formal time.

2.  Allow staff to feel good

Happy business woman

Let your staff be proud of themselves

Your staff should be allowed to revel in the glow of doing a great piece of work, making a good decision or challenging something for the better. Give them a way to do that, outside of any other issues you may have.

Don’t use good feedback to make a sh*t sandwich – whereby you give negative or developmental feedback in between two pieces of good feedback. People do this to make it easier for themselves. It does nothing for the staff member except take away from the recognition of great work.

Read: 5 important steps to manage an older team

3. Understand how they would want to be recognised

Just as there are big differences in the way people learn, how outgoing they are and what they enjoy to do outside of work, there are big differences in the ways people want to be recognised.

If your organised is designed efficiently. you will have enough time as a manager to understand your teams and their lives. Having a basic knowledge of what’s going on in their heads, what makes them tick, will ensure you can recognise them in a way that is going to be most effective for them.

There is little point in forcing an introvert to stand up for a round of applause in a team meeting or leaving a post-it note thank you to the employee who loves being seen to be doing well.

4. Be personal

recognise your employees

Similarly to the above, when you know your team you can personalise your recognition.]An important step to recognise your employees is understanding that nothing goes deeper than feeling like its personal to you alone.

Giving the first-time home buyer a B&Q voucher or the Horticulturalist an RHS membership will go miles to envy in and motivating your team.

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Susan Heaton Wright Contributor
Susan Heaton-Wright is a global Virtual impact, communications and speaking trainer for corporate clients. She empowers talented people to create memorable and engaging business conversations. She is the creator of the Superstar Communicator™ methodology: an international speaker; the MD of award winning music company, Viva Live Music, podcaster and a former prize winning international opera singer. She delivers virtual seminars, workshops and individual training for many companies including Astra Zeneca, Deloitte, RBS, Shell, Microsoft, AAP, Invesco, AXA, the NHS and Quintiles. She is regularly interviewed on BBC Radio Five Live; BBC2, local radios and international podcasts. In 2020, she was named as an #ialso 100 top inspirational female entrepreneur in UK.
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