Is World Gratitude Day a useful contribution to staff recognition?

Today is World Gratitude Day

Hooray. A lot of empty gestures will be made today, says my inner cynic, mostly in companies that want employees to think they really care. This is a shame, because some simple staff recognition steps can go a very long way towards improving company culture – along with a whole bunch of hard KPIs.

Try these ideas:

Get everyone together and say thank you – and take care to say it to everyone, not just the usual suspects. Events that honour specific people’s achievements risk being a huge turn-off for the staff who aren’t in a position to make the headlines. This doesn’t mean giving everyone a prize – experiments in school have shown that can also be de-motivating for some people – but it does mean going out of your way to find positive things to say about people wherever possible, not just naming the star performers, again.

Get people to take lunch together, all grades in one place, and not sitting with their friends. One company we know gives employees a free lunch, and a nice one, every week on condition that they sit with someone they don’t work with. This is a brilliant idea, as it spreads ideas across different teams, leading to new ways of working that would not have come up otherwise. It also makes people feel part of something.

Staff recognition is a legitimate need

This is not vanity or attention-seeking, it is a fundamental biological need, something that powers evolution. We know from Wethrive survey data that there are patterns in the way people get recognition for their efforts – or don’t – and we know how motivating that can be – or not.

But you can’t just do recognition on World Gratitude Day and then stop, it has to be a continuing part of the relationship with your staff.

Contact us and we’ll show you how well people feel recognised in your organisation, and what that is doing to their motivation. It costs nothing to run a little trial on your staff, and it can be done today.

The staff will be grateful

And so will you…


Posted by Piers Bishop on September 21, 2017

Piers Bishop, Co-Founder and organisational psychologist at WeThrive has contributed his expertise to over a hundred WeThrive blogs, webinars and whitepapers. Piers is passionate about using psychology to understand what really motivates employees. You can reach out and connect with Piers on LinkedIn.

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