Employees who don’t feel appreciated are less productive and don’t stay in their jobs as long as those in companies where gratitude is part of the culture. Sixty percent of job seekers say appreciation is a priority compared with only five percent who prefer quick promotions. Creating a culture of gratitude begins at the top. Here are four steps you can take to transform your leadership approach, become a better boss and make your company more efficient, productive and enjoyable to work for.
Whether you write down a daily list of things you’re thankful for, keep a journal of positive experiences or make a practice of encouraging those around you, gratitude in the workplace starts with cultivating a shift in the way you approach each day. It’s easy to look at your employees and see their shortcomings and what they’re not getting done, but if you start deliberately seeking out the good things in your own life, you’ll begin to see the strong points in other people. By developing the mindset of appreciating your employees, they will feel the shift in tone.
Use your new outlook to break down any barriers of communication within your organization. Be open and honest in your interactions with employees, and make it clear you want the same kind of feedback from them. When staff members aren’t afraid to speak up, collaboration becomes easier and more fluid. Workers feel more engaged with each other and with their supervisors and are more likely to contribute new ideas to move the company forward.
Popular culture likes to portray office environments as dysfunctional places where employees make negative remarks behind each other’s backs and do little more than bicker and gripe all day. Unfortunately, this is an accurate picture of what goes on in many companies, and it creates a stressful, negative environment. To turn attitudes around, remind your employees that everyone, including you, is working toward the same goals and operating with the same core values. Encourage staff members to thank each other, write positive notes and make other uplifting gestures throughout the day. Although it sounds simple, these practices can have profound effects on how your staff members feel about their jobs and their coworkers.
If you want your employees to treat each other well, you have to do the same for them. Provide the education, tools and support they need to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities, and acknowledge when they’re doing well. Consistent feedback and engagement shows you’re paying attention and promotes the important feeling of being appreciated.
To keep the culture of gratitude strong within your business, you may wish to look into courses designed to make you a better boss by improving your own practices. These include Thrive by Arianna Huffington and The Employee Engagement Bootcamp by the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and CorpU. Going through these courses can help strengthen the positive attitude within your company and support increased productivity.
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