“Can gratitude be part of a process beyond its moral trappings?”
Gratitude is not just a matter of good gesture but provides a far deeper impact on one’s life and attitude. It provides the charm for any help done to anyone. Gratitude makes one of the pinnacles of humanity, which is seen in action and stands better than mere words. As Henri Frederic Amiel says-
“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.”
Have you ever wondered what is that one more important thing that keeps employees motivated to be the best self at work day in and day out? Appreciation. While words of appreciation and encouragement might be validating, they’re fleeting beyond a point.
Attracting talent is crucial, but what is more important is recognising talent in the workplace. Not just that: In the crossroads of people and change, carrot and stick, smarter rewards, and speedy perks, it is critical for HRs to create a reward strategy that articulates the expectation of both employer and employees.
Recognition in the Workplace:
Human interaction involves gratitude which helps to cherish the relationships among each other. It is more pronounced in any workplace which involves people willing to cooperate to combine skills and merit to produce necessary solutions. Skyhigh Marketing in their book” The Side effects of “Thank You” brings out the merits of Gratitude such as:
- Ensure high productivity – Gratitude generates happiness which makes dopamine released to the brain, making it more productive
- Reduced Stress Levels – Practicing Gratitude on a regular basis would help to reduce stress hormones. Being grateful ensures emotional and physical resilience
- Foster Healthy Lifestyle: – Two major indicators of healthy living are the sleep patterns and immune system. Gratitude acts as a catalyst to attain happiness and joy
- Social Recognition: Social sense of gratitude helps in building a healthy work culture between employers and employees
- Increased focus at work: Recognition does not just foster health and happiness but it is a prime factor to increase focus at work.
In the” The Side effects of the “Thank You” book, the authors describe the varying costs and effects of losing and rehiring an employee. This is prevalent in low paying jobs with high turnover rates as these jobs do bear pressure and thereby lose productivity and are the major cause of attrition. This goes higher in costs connected to high paying jobs also.
The best way forward is rather simple. Coming up with sturdy rewards and recognition strategy! At the end of the day, that’s the best way to let your employees know that they’re doing well.
Companies must invest more in building strong reward and recognition programs and must use modern technology such as a unified HRMS software in order to track the mood and morale of the employees and determine how to increase productivity by keeping employees motivated at work. An end to end HR Solution like Darwinbox, Cake HR, Bamboo HR, Namely etc can help in tracking productivity, giving and receiving effective feedback and appreciating and recognising employees by enabling peer-to-peer recognition. This will help in building a culture of recognition and gratitude at work.
Impact of Recognition In Times of COVID:
Many would like to show gratitude in the best of their times but rarely at the lowest point. And it becomes even more difficult to express gratitude when everyone across the world is under a crisis like COVID. A pandemic forces people not to interact, not to converse face to face, which would make people feel agitated when they are all alone at home with zero social life. The tendency will prevail as the work from home culture evolves to be permanent. Therefore, now when more than half of the corporate population across the world are working remotely it becomes even more important for HRs to focus on recognition to keep employees motivated which in turn will enhance productivity at work.
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy
While formal recognition programs like annual employee awards are valuable, recognition shouldn’t be restricted to once in a year affair. It should be continuous and holistic. HR should encourage managers to recognize their reportees and peers in impromptu ways. With employees working from home, managers could start their virtual meetings by calling out good work done by the employees from the past week. In addition to regular meetings, managers should also encourage their team to set up virtual celebrations where anyone can voice their appreciation for each other. These virtual get-togethers can help foster connectivity at a time when people need it most.
Ways of Gratitude:
Gratitude is not a measurable quantity that can be judged but seen as a matter of human quality which is inseparable from motivation and productivity. This is the key to a healthy and productive workspace, enabling gratitude to be a primordial virtue.
A way of recognition is by peer to peer appreciation where colleagues could show the impact of gratitude more profoundly, enabling the workplace to be holistic and stress-free. This would be more crucial when the workplace is online oriented, where the colleagues are unable to meet face to face in this crisis.
Another is to create a ratio where both praise and criticism is used to judge a service or event on an employee. This may at least force the employee to work more to better interact with their peers and clients. The measure of gratitude should not restrict to only this ratio, but also involve the following methods(Summer Allen, “ The Science of Gratitude”)
- The Gratitude Adjective Checklist(GAC)- This involves the employees to report a 1- 5 scale on the basis of these adjectives of gratitude, thankful and appreciative for any time period.
- The Gratitude Questionnaire(GQ-6) – It is designed to measure the level of gratitude of a person as a “ trait gratitude” using a 6 value set.
- The Gratitude Resentment and Appreciation Test(GRAT)- Another way to measure trait gratitude, with a rating system on a series of statements
These ways are only possible if the workspace encourages trust-building, promotes transparency, be open and tolerant of others’ views and opinions. It’s only possible if the workforce engages itself towards the feeling of esprit de corps. To express such an approach of gratitude, it is recommended to adopt these three simple practices at work.
- Formulate a reward strategy
- Maintain a recognition journal
- Come up with innovative ways of recognition like-
- time-off to be used at a future date,
- free breakfast or lunch for those still coming into work,
- gift cards to local restaurants