Creating a Culture of Thank You

Undisputedly, employees are the most precious asset of a company. So it’s vitally important for organizations to recognize and communicate their value in a variety of manners. Some ways include giving them public attention while other methods could mean offering a quick, personal “kudos” or simply letting them know that they’ve got a team that has their back. These displays of appreciation can be the incentive staff members need at times to take things to the next level.

 

While I’ve made it a point to highlight certain individuals for specific instances where they performed well, there are a litany of occasions where everyone from top-management on down do little daily things that add up to a big positive impact for the company in the long term. We try to celebrate those achievements just as often. That’s why it is a priority to instill a culture of “thank you” in our organization. Doing so recognizes the efforts people give on a regular basis and helps increase employee satisfaction, morale and performance. To that end, we’ve implemented the following five tactics in order to show frequent gratitude towards employees:

Expo

Often when a company is so large that it encompasses different departments, not everyone knows what’s going on or who’s doing what. To help keep folks on the same page we’ve implemented the monthly “Expo,” where employees have an opportunity to showcase their work to the entire company. Dedicating a few hours on a routine basis to highlight their projects is a great way to praise staff members.

Ring the Bell

Observing company or employee wins should be done on the spot and publicly. We’ve found that incorporating a physical bell in the office and using it to salute those who have hit a milestone, personal victory, project completion or new client win provides a quick “Hooray” for the people involved. Following the bell celebration, a company-wide email is distributed to inform everyone of the event. Implementing a strategy that recognizes employees on the spot directly boosts company morale and encourages others to perform at high levels to gain similar recognition.

Personal Notes

In today’s world, many folks prefer to do all of their communication via email because of its convenience and speed. However, I’m a strong advocate for taking a few extra minutes to write a personalized, handwritten “thank you” note to acknowledge achievements. Not only is this tactic a friendly gesture, but employees appreciate the extra effort put forth to single out their work and are motivated to continue along the same path. We provide cards to all the managers to make sure they’re always ready to write.

Mad Props

Acknowledgement should come from all levels, and it’s important to create opportunities for team members to recognize and thank each other. For example, we’ve created “Mad Props,” a place on our intranet that is the first thing staff members see when they log-on. This page provides an outlet for employees to offer shout-outs to others, and is an easy way to show appreciation to a peer, subordinate or supervisor. I’ve been told countless times how happy team members are when they see their name and picture posted for the rest of the company to view.

Tokens with Meaning

Providing a small symbol of gratitude is always a nice way to thank employees for performing above and beyond. For example, at Red Door, we’ve implemented Business Initiative Goals, “BIG,” where staff members are awarded with coffee mugs each quarter to acknowledge their contribution in helping the company achieve a specific initiative. The focus isn’t on the gift itself, but rather the celebration of specific achievements.

Identifying and supporting little wins or good work of employees is crucial to maintaining a happy office environment and it’s important that everyone participates in the process. Not only does thanking one another for their hard work need to stem from all levels of the organization, but being specific about what talent or accomplishment is being recognized and to mention how it has benefited the company is equally important. Implementing strategies and providing simple tools to thank staff and help them highlight one another’s achievements are the best ways to promote a culture where everyone gives thanks to those who deserve it. 

 

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3 Comments

  • Alana Renfro

    Thank you for this article and your tweets. Having talented employees that are encouraged, engaged and empowered, combined with the power of expectations (like in Harvard Business Review Classic "Pygmalion in Management"), creates an innovative, creative, high performance environment for business. It's great to see Red Door fostering positivity and thriving. Way to go!

  • Alice Korngold

    I like this post! In general, I think there is not enough "thank you" going on! And "thank you" is especially important in working with volunteers and nonprofit board members (my realm), where appreciation and recognition are key to the relationship! People will work very hard for a good cause that they believe in, but it also means the world to them to have colleagues at the nonprofit show their appreciation with a thoughtful gift and a thank you. This goes for corporate sponsors as well; a plaque (with the nonprofit logo) presented at an event will go a long way in saying "thank you" and also encouraging further support!

  • Mindy Weiss

    Thanks Reid! Great tips and the great irony is most are free and take very little time in one's day. I have been trying for years to encourage employers to include a reminder on their calendar or make sure everyday they recognize someone, say thank you or just say hello. What I really get out of this is the effort to create a little fun and lightness in our days of long hours and dedication.
    --
    Mindy L. Weiss