Cultivating a Positive Workplace: A Little Thanks Goes a Long Way

What would happen if you lived in abundant gratitude? As discussed previously, being grateful can help you push through what stands between you and your goals. As a leader, expressing appreciation for your team’s efforts and recognizing their wins can help nurture a productive, successful corporate culture. Not sure you see the connection? Listen to this: According to data provided by, 78% of employees say being recognized motivates them. In fact, 69% said they’d work harder if they were better recognized! Conversely, over half of employees would leave their current positions for a company they felt would better recognize their efforts and contributions. Here’s the other thing you need to know: While monetary compensation is valued, showing gratitude to your staff and coworkers is about more than a check. Just Say It: There’s little more frustrating than plugging along at your job with no feedback. Take the time to recognize hard work and progress as it’s happening. While even a simple “job well done!” goes a long way, face-to-face, specific feedback is the ideal. Be Public: Next time you’re sitting in a team meeting, take the time to recognize contributors by name. If the project came in on time and under budget, say so and acknowledge any specific contributions that helped propel the success. Go up the chain of command: Did one of your cohorts or direct reports really shine? Make sure the boss knows about it. Take a moment to write an email to the powers-that-be outlining the contributions of a fellow employee. Again, be specific: What did this person do and how did it contribute to the betterment of the organization? Make sure you copy the individual on the email. Offer flexibility: Your staff just went above and beyond to land a major win for your organization. You wish you could do more than just thank them, but there’s no budget for bonuses. Consider offering extra time off, a longer lunch break or flexibility in office hours as a thank-you instead. Nurture growth: A great way to say “I have confidence in your abilities” is to recognize potential in people. Work with your staff to identify their strengths and where those skills might take their career. Provide continuing education opportunities and mentorship to nurture their growth. Write it down: With so much of our communication handled electronically today, the handwritten note takes on meaningful significance. Keep a stack of note cards handy and drop your team members a line occasionally. Whether you mail them or leave them on their keyboards, the note’s recipients will relish the recognition.