The Two Word Solution
Call me crazy, but it seems to me that we have a MASSIVE problem with a very simple solution.
The problem: people feel unappreciated at work, so they aren’t overly productive and/or they leave their job.
The simple solution: Say “thank you” more often at work.
That’s it. That’s all.
Those two words fix the #1 reason why people leave your company.
In Which I Hit You Upside The Head As To Why This Matters To You
I’m just gonna pick up this proverbial gratitude 2×4 over here and smack you upside the head with some facts about your business and culture.
Here are 9 things that are proven to happen in a company with a culture of gratitude:
- More motivated employees
- Higher employee engagement (which leads to higher productivity)
- Better teamwork
- Happier workforce
- Healthier workforce
- Higher sense of self-efficacy
- Increased performance
- Increased resilience to stress
- Reduced anxiety and fear
Grateful people are more fulfilled.
Grateful bosses are more likely to be successful.
The most productive companies have cultures of gratitude.
What The Heck Are You Doing?
I get it. You may not understand or believe the importance of this whole gratitude thing. Maybe you believe I’m a little too “woo woo” for your liking.
In fact, you’re probably thinking the same thing that I hear most from leaders who want to fight these facts. You’re thinking:
“Workers are too sensitive these days. I DO thank people. I do it all the time. But I’m not going to thank people for just showing up and doing their damn job!”
First off, let’s all calm down here for a second. Nobody’s asking you to reward people for breathing. And nobody is saying you don’t say thank you, at least every now and then. Maybe you do, maybe you don’t, that’s between you and the mirror.
What I AM saying, is that it’s not about you. It’s about creating an entire culture of gratitude.
A culture of gratitude is one in which everybody acknowledges each other for productivity and excellence.
You can choose to ignore me. That’s fine. You can wait until you hear about the exit interviews for your subordinates and how they complain about the lack of gratitude and rarely feeling appreciated.
Here’s the problem – just like the partner who is forced to say “I love you” and like the friend who is forced to put on a “surprise party” – by the time your employees tell you they want you to be more grateful, it’s too late. Your response will feel forced and inauthentic.
So I’m doing you a favor. I am here to tell you so that you can be authentic and make a difference.
You need to create a greater culture of gratitude. Period. End of story.
The Gratitude Challenge
You know what, I’m not done talking to you yet. In fact, I challenge you.
<pulls off white glove>
<thwacks you across the cheek with said glove>
Think of somebody at work that you’re grateful for. Do that right now.
The moment you finish this article, I want you to express gratitude to them.
Tell them what you are grateful for and why. Do it with authenticity. I don’t care if it’s done in person, on the phone, in email, Slack, text or yodeling.
Just do it.
And for the next 2 weeks, every day you are at work, I challenge you to thank somebody else in the same way. Put it on your calendar so you don’t forget. Every day at, say, 1:55 pm (right before your 2:00 nap), remind yourself to show gratitude.
This brings us back to my back…
The Back Side of Gratitude
The thing about giving gratitude, is you’re more likely to get it back.
People who have heard about my injury naturally react with pity. They assume I’m miserable. They assume I’m angry that it happened.
I’m not any of those.
Far from it.
After all, if my head were angled a mere 1” in any other direction, I could’ve had bad neck damage, been paralyzed…or worse.
So am I angry? Do I have pity?
I have so much gratitude for being able to be here today to write this. And that, in turn, gives me even more gratitude for you.
Time is our scarcest commodity. I am humbled and honored that you give me a few minutes of your time every week.
I am grateful that you help me uncover these nuggets of wisdom that allow both of us live more fulfilling, more enriched, and happier lives.
So, yes, I have a lot of gratitude for my back injury. And that has given me even more gratitude for you.