In the spirit of Thanksgiving, words can mean so much. As most reflect on the blessings in their lives, this is an ideal opportunity for managers, directors and senior leaders to give heartfelt gratitude to employees. Aside from annual reviews and bonus time, subordinates rarely receive notes or emails of thanks and praise from superiors. Gifting staff with a personal message and sharing gratitude to tell them they matter is a gesture that is long overdue and underutilized.
The workplace is really a home away from home but rarely do leaders remember it’s a corporate family. Just like a normal family, you can’t pick your coworkers, just like you can’t select your relatives, so the team learns to function as best as it can with what it has. Employees of the same level often form positive relationships among the ranks, however leaders are on a different plane. There is an inherent gap, and communication between them happens only when needed and necessary. In most cases, casual conversation is as sparse and kudos and compliments.
Is there a time in your career when your superior wrote you a thank you note or shared words of praise? We’ve all heard “great job” but how would you feel if every supervisor you had wrote you, thanking you for a job well done? For some people, the simple recognition that they’re doing something right would be a sigh of relief. For others, it would give them a sense of pride knowing the boss is pleased with their performance. This small gesture definitely goes a long way, so take the time to give thanks and praise to those in your corporate family.
Words of Gratitude
- Call out a key attribute the employee has, such as being punctual, positive, welcoming, etc.
- Thank employees for a particular skill or expertise.
- Admire employees for their personal passion, such as volunteer activities.
- Recognize employees for an unofficial role, such as mentor or second in charge.
- Praise employees for individual contributions to the team.
Ideally, you want to give accolades several times a year, but the important thing is to start now. Perhaps this is a new avenue for you to strengthen the bond between you and your team. It’s a trend that has a positive upside and one that pays dividends abound. ■