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25 Aug 2020
Six ways business leaders can foster a culture of gratitude and appreciation
In Horrible Bosses, the 2011 comedy blockbuster starring Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman and Colin Farrell, a group of friends decide to hire a hitman to murder their employers, so incensed are they by their treatment in the workplace. An extreme measure, you might think. While the situations these employees find themselves in are firmly rooted in fiction, research shows that employers can thwart discontent and workplace anxiety by making regular gestures of gratitude towards their workforce.
The benefits of showing gratitude at work are many and varied: improved physical and mental health, closer bonds between colleagues and better sleep. Getting proper rest is also a sure-fire way to avoid levels of exhaustion that lead to burnout, so it pays to play nice.
As the world’s largest office space-provider, Regus takes a holistic approach to the world of work that goes beyond fittings and fixtures. Here are six ways to create a positive work environment for yourself and your employees.
1. Say it spontaneously
Employee of the month awards have their place, but they can feel like an inauthentic, management box-ticking exercise. There’s no better way to express your thanks to someone than in a way that feels personal and spontaneous to you, and it will have more resonance than any formal ceremony.
2. Go offline
There’s nothing like a generic, round-robin “thank you” email to alienate employees who have put in hours beyond the call of duty. Take the time to show your appreciation through a hand-written note, a call, or an in-person catch-up.
3. Take note
At the end of each day, note down a few key moments from the day where your colleagues’ knowledge, skill and work ethic were indespensible. Make a point of acknowledging their impact on the business and how important their input is to you at a future appraisal.
4. Get positive
How about a little self-care? Many of us are conditioned to fixate on our failures, the tasks we haven’t got round to and time we perceive as wasted, but it’s crucial for employers to flip this mindset, focusing on the goals you have achieved and the skills you can draw on to keep morale high.
5. Challenge your choices
It’s easy to show thanks when things are going well, but what about when they’re not? Delivery is key in all communications, it’s worth taking the time to find the right words and situation to express appreciation, while galvanising change and improvement.
6. Mix it up
Make sure not to lavish praise on just the top-performing parts of business. It’s important to strike a balance where all members of your company’s community feel appreciated, from delivery workers and personal assistants to procurement and finance. Find novel ways to show thanks, whether it’s organising a team “away day”, impromptu drinks or spa vouchers for birthdays or new hires.