Gratitude in the Workplace

 In Communication, Culture, Employees, Leaders

For our second article, several of our Consultants have written a short paragraph about how they have witnessed gratitude in their projects. We hope you enjoy the perspectives that they have shared.

 Shannon Stautberg – A small act of thanks can make a big difference! An unexpected gesture of gratitude toward employees that go above and beyond their typical call of duty, can improve team morale and contribute to a project’s success. While working with a client on the rollout of a CRM system, project leadership recognized the IT team was going to be burning the midnight oil to complete data conversion in time for go-live. To show appreciation for their hard work, the team sent Edible Arrangements to the homes of the developers that worked over the weekend. These sweet treats helped give them an extra boost of morale to help them cross the finish line and make the CRM go-live a success!

Gina Giannitelli – When I reflect on the clients and managers I’ve worked with who express gratitude… the look-you-in-the-eye, genuine type of gratitude, I see the impact on the team’s well-being and their attitude toward coming tasks. I feel more appreciated, more connected to the team, and in turn I’m more likely to go the extra mile for the best possible results. Research shows an increase in well-being (happiness) increases productivity, and this is good news for project teams and business everywhere. I remember sitting at one manager’s desk and noticing their reminder to themselves to say “thank you” that day… I was really impressed, because I’d seen first-hand the commitment that appreciation cultivated. Some of the best teams I’ve worked on, those that have driven results that get noticed, are teams where different disciplines (Project Management, Change Management, IT and business experts) actively appreciate what each brings to the team dynamic.

Annie Ayvazian – People want to feel that they are making a difference and that their efforts are appreciated. One creative approach is to show gratitude in a way that ties back to a higher purpose. As an example, one team I work with begins each meeting by inviting people to share examples of how they have supported the higher purpose that the team has established. By sharing these stories, team members reinforce that they are making a difference by supporting the higher purpose while also hearing appreciation and praise for their efforts. This is a simple and effective way to reinforce and reward the desired behaviors.

Andie Wafzig – Think of the last time you worked on a task or delivered a solution completely on your own. Personally, I can’t recall a time in my career where anything I accomplished was without collaboration and support from at least one other person; more often any deliverable or achievement was the result of many inputs. As an employee, it just feels good to be appreciated for your efforts and accomplishments. A simple ‘thank you’ email or name mention in a team meeting can mean the difference between feeling valued and wanting to perform at your best or feeling unappreciated and lacking enthusiasm for the next project. As a leader, you want the former filling your team. Acknowledging the efforts of your team, thanking them for their contributions and celebrating collective and individual wins can go a long way in retaining happy, high-performing employees.

Beckie Schretter – … “four in five (81 percent) employees say they’re motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work.”1 When you are asking employees to create or go through a tough change, remember to include some Thanksgiving Spirit in your plans. Gift cards, thank you notes, snacks/candy/food and even simple praise can go a long way to motivate a change-wary team.

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