Giving thanks is something that we like to talk about each November, but it should be something that we focus on all year long. Kindness may be the greatest virtue that any person can have, because it’s something that we’re all capable of. We can’t all be geniuses or exceptionally creative or great at sports, but we can all be kind to one another. And gratitude is a big part of kindness. When we take a moment to consider other people’s feelings and let them know that we appreciate and understand them, the human-to-human connection created in those moments of kindness sparks greater empathy, stronger relationships, and a more positive environment.
As you consider the value of kindness and gratitude this month, think about ways that you can bring those values into the workplace by giving thanks to employees. Beyond the standard advice like employee recognition programs and employee appreciation events, here are a few unique ways that you can make a habit of gratitude this season and into the new year.
- Start a “Good Book.”
Buy a large journal and keep it in a central location in your workplace. Encourage your employees to call out the good deeds or great work accomplishments that they see around the office all week long. Then, at your weekly meeting, bring in the book and read the latest entries. This is a simple way for employees to recognize each other and make sure that you know about the good things happening around the office.
- Poll your employees and take note.
While lunch with the boss might be a form of recognition that you would appreciate, your employees might prefer a gift card to take their own families to dinner. Rather than assuming what will motivate your team, ask them. You can use an online form to keep answers anonymous and ensure that you get input from everyone (rather than the few most vocal people in meetings). Then take what you learn and act on it!
- Use your website to acknowledge stellar team members.
You can also do this on social media. Create a “featured team member” section on your website, and update it regularly with the person who has gone above and beyond recently.
- Make celebration and fun a habit.
One of the best ways to show gratitude to employees is to do everything that you can to make your office environment more fun and supportive. That could be as simple as bringing in donuts every now and then, organizing an office Oscar pool, or bringing in a pinata! Whatever you can do to encourage play and positivity will help your employees feel appreciated.