Employee Performance: Expressing Gratitude in the Workplace

Category: Employees

By Frank Kenna

According to an article in the Nov. 21 issue of The Wall Street Journal, “the workplace ranks dead last among the places people express gratitude.” I found this interesting since many – maybe even most – of our customers are aware of the benefits of saying thanks, and in fact have clearly defined systems for doing so on a regular basis.

Even the crusty former Chairman of General Electric, Jack Welch, had this to say about thanking employees: “If you don’t do it, you don’t have a culture. You are just a bunch of bricks and mortar.”

So why don’t more managers do this?  One common attitude is, “We thank people around here: it’s called a paycheck.” Another is that some managers think, “No one thanks me. Why should I have to coddle others?” But to my way of thinking, those people are wrong, as they are ignoring the many benefits, which include lower turnover and higher profit.

Recognition and gratitude are workplace strategies that are very cost effective and can make a big difference in an employee’s performance and sense of wellbeing.  Thomas Wright, a professor at Kansas State University, said in a ScienceDaily article, “The benefits of a psychologically well work force are quite consequential to employers, especially so in our highly troubled economic environment. Simply put, psychologically well employees are better performers. Since higher employee performance is inextricably tied to an organization’s bottom line, employee well-being can play a key role in establishing a competitive advantage.”

So what actual dollar difference can this make?  Wright’s article went on to cite: “In a sample of management personnel with average salaries in the $65,000 range, he found that could cost the organization roughly $75 a week per person in lost productivity. With 10 employees that translates to $750 per week in performance variance; for 100 employees the numbers are $7,500 per week or $390,000 per year.”

Think about that – if your company (or unit) has 100 employees, you could drop almost $400k more to the bottom line by making your employees feel good about working there.  This is one of the foundations of our product.  We use “The Whole Person Concept,” which recognizes employees for everything they are; employees, parents, mothers and fathers, etc.  We know effective employee communication includes personal well-being, and give thousands of managers fast, easy and turnkey tools for recognizing employees.  We also publish daily content that does the same.  All for less than 1% of those savings mentioned above.  Interested?  Click here for more information.

Frank Kenna III
November 26, 2012

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