Promoting Gratitude at Work in Three Easy Steps
The season of gratitude is upon us. In the United States, that usually means taking time to reflect on about what makes us truly thankful, in both our personal and our professional lives.
In addition to counting our blessings, this time of the year is also called the season of giving. We thought we’d take a look at a few of the gifts you can give to your employees that will make an honest difference in how they view you as a leader, and how much they enjoy working for your organization.
Employees want the truth, and nothing but the truth. This has likely always been true, though generations of employees were conditioned to believe that they didn’t deserve to know what was going on in the executive boardroom.
The advent of human resources as a vocation may well have been the beginning of a shift in this mentality. Ideally, a dedicated HR representative from the company acted as an intermediary, providing an employee with notes on their performance, next steps, and upcoming changes. The problem, of course, was that up until recently, HR had its own struggles getting a seat at the board table. Strategic company-wide decisions were often made in isolation without considering the valuable insight of both HR professionals and the employees they serve.
As you move into this season, consider the gift of transparency: Enable human resources to empower employees and better the entire organization by capturing the authentic employee voice with anonymous, crowdsourced feedback. Then respond, and let them know you’ve heard their feedback and your next steps to address it. You will see trust grow exponentially inside the organization, which leads to higher productivity and increased engagement.
Give Wellness and Balance
Did you know that companies that provide a wellness program and help create a positive work-life balance are becoming the norm?
Wellness programs have been proven to improve employee behaviors that relate to their health. These lifestyle changes make a huge difference. Decreased health care costs and both short-term and long-term health benefits to the individual go a long way towards creating a happy workforce. In addition, wellness programs that promote social interaction and team building promote camaraderie and reduce stress.
Beyond health, consider that many organizations are now offering employees work-life balance perks like on-site childcare, increased duration of maternity/paternity care, and the option to work remotely. Gallup’s 2017 State of the Workplace shows that employees increasingly opt to work for organizations that provide these perks.
Give Diversity Room to Grow
Within your company, somewhere in your rapidly shifting demographic makeup, there are leaders waiting to be found. And they make not look, sound, or act, like any of the leaders that have come before them. The creation of diversity and inclusion programs and the growing body of literature that supports finding hidden leaders in your organization is on to something.
Homogeneity among leadership teams and board members is becoming a relic of the past. The new norm should be organizations that give individuals throughout a company, no matter their age, gender, race or sexual orientation, equal room to grow into the leaders they deserve to be.
The business case for inclusion is clear: Organizations that promote inclusion, belonging, and diversity have higher levels of trust and engagement.
Give it Forward
In the workplace, as in all other areas of life, we reap what we sow. Setting the intention to provide transparency, wellness, work/life balance, and space for diversity will help to lay the groundwork for future success. It will also help to ensure that when the New Year rolls around, your employees will be thinking about what they can do better for your organization, rather than looking elsewhere.