Thanksgiving Week is here, and I hope all of you are getting some much-needed time away from the office—but you know, the concept of thanksgiving isn’t just something that applies in our personal lives. It actually has a lot of workplace resonance, as well. And being able to sincerely and succinctly convey your gratitude is a skill that will serve you well—whether in leadership, employee management, or customer relations.
I’ve written about this before, and in fact the concept of gratitude figures prominently in my book, but expressing your appreciation for team members is a powerful way to foster an open, collaborative, and tight-knit team dynamic; it’s also a key ingredient in employee retention.
Yet, knowing how to express gratitude in the workplace can seem elusive. Not to worry: I’ve got a few suggestions for cultivating thankfulness in your office.
Cultivating Gratitude in Your Workplace: 5 Tips
Don’t wait. First and foremost, make thankfulness a part of your daily work routine. Don’t wait until Thanksgiving comes. Don’t wait until the end of the year. Don’t wait until you’re leading a project or directing other employees. Start saying thank you today, to anyone who helps make your professional life more fruitful. Get in the habit of expressing gratitude often.
Remember that nobody accomplishes anything alone. You’re part of a team. Your success is, at least, somewhat contingent on your team members; likewise, the role you play in the workplace has an impact on everyone else’s success. Remember that you’re part of something bigger, and adopt a humble attitude about workplace achievements.
Provide opportunities for your team members to express their gratitude. While you don’t necessarily want to force gratitude, you should provide outlets for people to say thanks—maybe through bulletin boards/“gratitude walls” or through holiday gift exchanges. Some employees may wish to express their thanks but are unsure of appropriate ways to do so. Give them the avenue they need!
Be intentional in thanking your employees. On a more formal level, you can create an employee-of-the-month program, blog spotlights, or other forums for showing employees you care. Make sure to highlight the work of chronically under-thanked team members, too—the people whose work isn’t necessarily flashy, but is nevertheless essential for the success of your team.
Be thankful during tough times. Make sure you say thanks to your team, not just during seasons of plenty, but also during seasons of hardship—and in the wake of crises, in particular.
Learning to say thank you isn’t just a seasonal thing; for true leaders, it’s a skillset to cultivate year-round.
Dr. Rick Goodman CSP is a thought leader in the world of leadership and is known as one of the most sought after team building experts in the United States and internationally.
He is famous for helping organizations, corporations, and individuals with systems and strategies that produce increased profits and productivity without having the challenges of micro managing the process. Some of Dr. Rick’s clients include AT&T, Boeing, Cavium Networks, Heineken, IBM, and Hewlett Packard.