It Starts with “Thank You”
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Businesses Mount Efforts to Retain Valued Employees, started me thinking about the topic of gratitude in the workplace. One thing that was particularly interesting in was a study cited in this piece about the discrepancy between what employers think keeps workers happy (“management climate and workers’ relationships with their bosses”) and what employees say (“pay and benefits”).
We all know that a “thank you” from a boss can make a worker to feel appreciated. But that doesn’t always mean just a pat on the back for a job well done. Perceptive employers taking a closer look might acknowledge good employees struggling to accomplish tasks/projects with less personnel and resources. How this is conveyed to workers is a key factor, too.
The end of my tenure in Corporate World coincided with the rise of the “consultant” – hiring outsiders for obscene amounts of money to study your workplace systems and practices. Usually, they came back with a “new mousetrap” that was much more complicated and less efficient than the one you had. One result was often employees felt their ideas/systems were not taken seriously or respected. Honestly, I have zero tolerance for highly paid biz gurus who want to talk about moving my cheese, etc. It seems to me that the good, old KISS method got lost in the shuffle, so I’m heartened that companies have returned to looking at more basic truths and applying them to retaining valued employees.
What are some simple ways to express gratitude to employees?
· Most people are working more hours than ever. Even if it’s status quo, thank your employee for working the weekend or several late nights on a project.
· Many studies cite that employees value flexible hours/time off as much as pay. If possible, offer comp. time, which is really needed this time of year.
· Employees love free food. Order pizza in on a Wednesday or bring in croissants instead of the usual, boring donuts.
· Send your department flowers – they’re not just for the girls.
As an employee, what little things would you like to see your employer do to retain good workers?