Happy Thanksgiving! Today, I want to talk about how to say thanks to your employees without breaking the bank. It’s wonderful to add dollars to a holiday bonus, but money is rarely the top contributor to employee happiness.
Acknowledgement and gratitude, however, go a long way in increasing employee production and long-term job satisfaction. So how can you improve the ways you say thanks?
Know people’s names
Learn and use people’s names, particularly those working on any projects you oversee. This is equally important to the brand-new intern as it is to the long-tenured, back office employee who has been with your company for years and rarely engages with you in person. If you are not good at remembering names, then work on getting a little better. There is no shame in jotting down names until you memorize them or asking people a few times before you get it right.
Share successful outcomes
Another way to acknowledge people is to form the habit of sharing the glow of any successful project, program, pitch, or other task to which they contributed. That assistant who typed up a letter: Did you send him a quick e-mail or text to let him know that the outreach had a positive result? The junior person who did the math behind the sales pitch: Did you stop by her desk to let her know you won the business? People want to know not just that you’re grateful but that their work had meaning.
Promote more frequently
Promotions are a major incentive for all generations. Competitive-minded Baby Boomers enjoy the bump in prestige. Oft-ignored Gen Xers appreciate the acknowledgment of their hard work. Fast-paced, success-minded Millennials and Gen Zs like to have visible evidence of their forward momentum. And all generations enjoy the feeling of a personalized career path.
What small actions do you take to acknowledge employees? Please share!