It’s a common sentiment that no one appreciates their hard work and achievements being overlooked by superiors and colleagues. Recognition for one’s efforts is a basic human desire, and often, a mere ‘thank you’ is sufficient. Experts in psychology highlight the importance of gratitude, stating that it is a crucial component for maintaining healthy relationships in all aspects of life, including in organizations, families, and broader societies.
Research indicates that gratitude positively affects our nervous system, reducing stress-related hormones and increasing hormones associated with happiness and well-being. This not only benefits individual health but also enhances cognitive functions related to learning and decision-making, an aspect any leader would value in their team.
The Corporate Value of Gratitude Implementing an employee recognition program is an effective way to foster a culture of gratitude within an organization. The rationale for this extends to business benefits as well.
Studies have found that regular expressions of appreciation and acknowledgment can be more motivating than financial rewards. Surveys indicate that a significant majority of employees are more willing to put in extra effort if their work is recognized and valued by their superiors.
Gratitude as a Leadership Technique It’s important to understand that effective gratitude and recognition go beyond public acknowledgments. Overdoing superficial praise can be counterproductive, making it seem insincere or setting unrealistic expectations for constant positive feedback for basic job duties.
Experts suggest that meaningful recognition can involve providing opportunities that signal career advancement, such as participation in significant projects or meetings. This approach is effective when it is perceived as a sign of potential career progression.
Strategies for Expressing Gratitude Despite its importance, the act of recognizing others is often undervalued by leaders. Engaging with team members informally and proactively, asking questions about their recent experiences or challenges, and offering support, shows genuine care and commitment to their success.
The most profound form of recognition, according to leadership experts, is trust. When there is mutual trust between leaders and their teams, it leads to significant increases in productivity and engagement.
Employee engagement is not to be taken lightly, as it plays a crucial role in organizational success. Data from extensive employee surveys show that companies with higher levels of employee engagement tend to have better overall performance. Units with high engagement scores are significantly more successful than those with lower scores.
Leaders should also recognize the importance of providing adequate worker protections and benefits. Allowing employees time off for personal and family needs, particularly during holiday seasons, is an impactful way to demonstrate appreciation and gratitude for their dedication and hard work.