“I’ve never worked anywhere where there is so much gratitude expressed.”

So this one stopped me in my tracks and has stuck around with me after one of our awesome team members said this.

Let’s talk about it

I typically say what’s on my mind. I don’t like people close to me having to wonder what’s on my mind. A sense of wondering is not beneficial for relationship-building because what we THINK is happening is guaranteed to be worse than what is ACTUALLY happening.

When something is awry, I want to get it out and talk about it. See how we can fix it. When we do, I’m ready to move on. Leave it there and move forward.

When something is going well, I also want to get it out and talk about it—no sense in letting people guess when they’re doing things right. Tell them!

I am grateful for so much, and I express it often. I am proud of people learning and growing, and I want them to know, encouraging them along the way. There is too much negativity and too many naysayers. Those of us who are encouragers and believers need to be 10X as loud as the naysayers to counter the negativity trail they leave behind.

Why so stingy?

I have watched managers run teams and hardly express a thought of appreciation, and I always wonder why. It’s so easy to express gratitude. I’ve wondered if they genuinely don’t feel gratitude toward their teams or if they think that keeping compliments and appreciation to themselves somehow makes them more of a “manager”?

Expressing appreciation and gratitude takes no money, no fancy programs, no planning, and hardly any time. Just simple words of appreciation can be a significant contribution to someone’s sense of value within the company.

Of course, there are many other things you can do beyond words to appreciate your team. We’ve written about these ideas of appreciating your employees and spreading gratitude.

There are also many ways you can spend a lot of money and time on appreciation items and tactics. But if that’s all you’re doing and you skip the day-to-day appreciation, then your “employee appreciation” efforts may ring hollow.

Pair lack of day-to-day communication with the awful retrospective annual performance review, and you have a recipe for high employee turnover.

I’m out

There is so much discussion about the throngs of people planning to leave their jobs as the pandemic impact subsides. Why?

SHRM explains. According to Achievers Workforce Institute, employees are experiencing disengagement and burnout.

  • 46 percent of people are feeling less connected to their company.
  • 42 percent say company culture has diminished since the start of the pandemic.
  • Just 21 percent said they are very engaged at work.

"Through the pandemic, some companies have lost mainstays of employee engagement such as focusing on work/life balance, enacting change following employee feedback, driving recognition, and fostering company culture," said Natalie Baumgartner, chief workforce scientist at Achievers.

The year has been tough and excruciating. And clearly, many have felt their pain and frustration weren’t acknowledged and addressed in a way that made them feel heard and included.

It’s going to get ugly for many employers.

Can I get another try?

Often we wish for a do-over. This may be just that opportunity. Spend some time reflecting on your culture.

  • How much do you appreciate your team?
  • How often do you tell them?
  • In what ways do you let them know?
  • How often do you request their input and act on it?
  • What type of value message are you sending?

People do as the leader does, and if you have leaders on your team who are not appreciative of the people who report to them, you’re going to have a turnover problem.

Put some action to your reflections and make the shifts NOW that need to be made. Tomorrow will be too late. You may have great team members who want to stick around but need a little extra appreciation and thoughtfulness to make them feel welcome.


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Photo by lightfieldstudios.