A quick way to boost employee engagement: Say 'thank you'

Showing gratitude doesn't have to be expensive or elaborate

Managers should not discount the power of saying "thank you" to promote employee engagement, Reward Gateway CEO Glenn Elliott writes for Employee Benefit News.

Employee engagement begins with company culture, Elliott explains. Managers must foster an environment in which employees' talents and efforts are celebrated. An easy way to express that recognition is by just saying "thank you."

Employees who feel appreciated are motivated to perform better, Elliott says. "It's simple really–would you feel like helping someone or something succeed if you felt unappreciated?" Probably not, he points out.

And while monetary gifts may seem like the best way to express gratitude, that's not always the case. Elliott points to a time that he received an award with a monetary bonus attached for a project he had done well. But the reward had to go through an approval process that took so long for Elliott to receive that once he finally got it, he couldn't remember why he deserved it in the first place.

Recognition need not be so formal. Elliott recommends sending a sweet and simple note or email. Reward Gateway sends internal e-cards to employees to say "great job" or just plain "thanks!" 

The self-interested case for saying 'thank you' at work more often

"It's something so simple, but employees love sending and receiving them," Elliott says. "It creates a sense of community and shows that we appreciate each other."

Saying "thank you" can even help boost retention rates, Elliott says. "People working in a culture of gratitude and [who] know that their efforts are appreciated are not likely to want to leave" (Elliott, Employee Benefit News, 5/13). 

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