Mercedes is an International HR Consultant working with Small and Medium Companies helping them to build their HR departments and processes. She is also the editor of this blog
Did you know that gratitude improves the functioning of your brain and promotes happiness. After publishing the article about the facts that are affecting your employer branding, I kept thinking about those non materials factors, and made a list of all the characteristics of the companies I worked for in the past. Something kept coming to my mind “GRATITUDE AT WORK”
GRATITUDE AT WORK
I remembered some of them as they were young, others, quite the contrary. I have worked for some ungrateful companies that will shout at their employees if they dared to do small mistakes, but as I was going through the list of my clients and past employers I smiled remembering how lucky I was to work in a company where Gratitude was part of their DNA.
Believe me, I was really lucky, not everyone has that opportunity, and not every culture, company or even country promotes gratitude.
How many companies have within their values ”We encourage gratitude to the employee”?
The answer is easy. MANY! Having it written is a really positive thing. Don’t get me wrong, It looks good, and the new graduates without experience will be extremely excited about joining the company. Do a video about it on your careers page, and you will nail it! However, I have to admit I am a little bit skeptical here. I have seen and design many of those career pages… and it is hard to say that… and know that is an empty promise.
However, I KNOW there are some good companies out there, willing to really do it. Willing to be thankful to their employees. So instrad of doing a long long article with “10 strategies that you can use to promote gratitude at work” I am going to simply tell you a story. A Real one. Something that happened to me some years ago, and I believe is the best example I could share with you.
A REAL STORY ABOUT FOSTERING GRATITUDE AT WORK
A few years ago, I worked in a HR consultancy in the United Kingdom where I was amazed by the wonderful treatment of my Manager. She was wonderful, sweet, and every afternoon as I was leaving, she said
“Thank you very much for working so hard today”.
Those who know me well will know that I usually don’t trust those that go with the easy compliments every time they see you. Therefore, I was very skeptical at the beginning, as it seemed too much for me. Too kind, if that is possible. But I was of course very young 🙂
Most of the times I looked at her, smiled and said:
She looked at me, smiled again and said “But you have worked hard, so THANK YOU”
For weeks it sounded strange to me and I thought, “How lucky I am” “My boss is the nicest manager in the world” as she really convinced me. It was not just the thank you, but the kind smile and the understanding on her look when I was really frustrated. She was REALLY thankful for my work and effort.
It was not just my manager who promoted gratitude
Soon I realized that her boss was even better in terms of gratitude and thanking work, she was constant. For everything you did, they thanked you. Sometimes it sounded even artificial, and exhausting, I have to admit, but in the end, it felt so natural, that it becomes part of your DNA.
I had always been very grateful, but it was too much. Even so, it had an effect. It was great to receive a thank you when you did not expect it. I wanted to work for them, I was comfortable, and I knew they really valued me.
It is true that there will always be someone who complains, someone who says it is not enough, and does not have to be enough.
Thanking people should not, and can not be the only gesture that you have with your employees. Saying thank you and not backing them up, or not understanding when they are tired or when they had a bad day will not do the trick.
However, if you start on your side, and you as an SME owner you express gratitude to everyone, everyone else will do it with those they manage. Soon, not in a week, but soon, it will be part of your company’s DNA.
If you are thanked, it is easier for you to show gratitude to others.
So, entrepreneur! Thank your team, give them real gratitude, appreciate the effort they have made and you will get a more united and motivated team.
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