Gratitude in the Workplace Impacts Productivity and Retention

Gratitude in the Workplace Impacts Productivity and Retention
Photo by Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash

Gratitude is a real game changer…

…and it’s one of the best retention tools companies can use to keep employees energized, loyal and engaged.

The Survey Says…

Employee survey after survey reminds HR teams, and the organizations they support, that there’s more to creating a great workplace than healthcare plans, 401k programs and paid time off. Employee appreciation plays a significant role in job satisfaction, engagement, company integration and employee retention. A simple “Thank you,” goes a long way, and employees say that motivation and morale improve “massively” when managers say thank you more often.

There is a direct correlation between employee retention and an employee’s perception of being valued in the workplace. Studies show that 3 out of 4  employees who don’t feel their contributions are valued in the workplace look for greener pastures. Employees don’t just want a paycheck; they also want appreciation.

Develop a culture of community, sharing and gratitude.

In a recent study, David DeSteno, a professor of psychology at Northeastern University, examined the impact praise, pride and gratitude have on our lives, both at home and work. His study indicates that feeling pride or compassion increases perseverance on difficult tasks by over 30 percent. According to Dr. DeSteno, when we make people feel grateful, they’ll spend more time helping anyone who asks for assistance, they show greater loyalty, they are more willing to take on leadership roles in groups and work longer and harder to help a team solve a difficult problem.

Employees who work in an organization that regularly shows gratitude are inspired to form connections to the company’s culture, are more integrated, engaged and have a willingness to roll up their sleeves on even the most challenging projects. Organizations that focus on showing gratitude reap long-term benefits of improved employee retention and greater overall employee well-being.

Dr. DeSteno notes that emotions like pride, gratitude and compassion reduce stress. These positive emotions slow heart rate, lower blood pressure and reduce feelings of anxiety; they ease the way to patience and perseverance. Imagine a workplace where patience, perseverance and compassion are cultural norms.

Make gratitude a corporate state of mind.

Employee engagement, or lack thereof, can’t be solved by simply showering workers with praise during an annual review. Even the best organizational leaders find it challenging to stick to a resolution of engagement or offer a high-five on a regular basis. Corporate environments are fast-paced, frenetic and employees are often in virtual offices. These realities of the modern workplace create transparency challenges and communication barriers.

Here are three sure-fire ways to bring appreciation and gratitude into your workplace:

  1. Keep gratitude on track: Leverage technology solutions like vi’s retention and integration solutions that put employee recognition and gratitude on a communication cadence. Customized engagement workflows deliver employee integration “tracks” lasting 3, 6, 12, or 24 months and have recognition check-points built-in.
  2. Get the broader team involved: Build your team connections by letting employees reward one another. From high-fives to gift cards, choosing kudos that match your budget helps everyone get into the act of showing gratitude. Technology to the rescue again as real-time feedback solutions and connected apps put employee connections at your team’s fingertips.
  3. Promote volunteerism: According to Glassdoor, 75 percent of workers expect their employers to support the local community. Half of surveyed workers value employers who allow employees to use work time and resources to advocate for positive social change.

Organizations dedicated to delivering gratitude reap the benefits of deeper workforce engagement. It’s difficult in a fast-paced and virtually-connected workplace to consistently recognize top performers, but those organizations that fail to deliver kudos do so at their peril. Perhaps author Maya Angelou said it best, “…people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

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If you’d like more information about what intelligent, tailored employee retention and integration solutions can do for you, we’d love to help you. We can walk you through a demo, share customer success stories and case studies, and give you the resources you need to choose the right solution for your organization. We’re ready to help, contact us for more information or connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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