Showing Gratitude in the Workplace
In the world of business, people sometimes feel that they must remain emotionless. Women, in particular, have been conditioned to hide their emotions, to put on a “professional” front, so that they are taken seriously. It’s an antiquated practice that is outdated at best, and it can hinder the human factor that is so necessary for an organization to thrive.
It’s one of many reasons that at BRM Institute, we’ve evolved our language to refer to businesses as organizations. Organizations are built from people of every personality type, background, and creed, united with a common cause of propelling forward as a team. People are not robots or machines, and as such, we do experience emotions. In fact, in many ways, we are emotionally driven.
One thing most of us have in common is the desire to be recognized when we’re doing a good job. That said, we don’t expect a parade, but acknowledgment that our hard work isn’t going unnoticed—or that we’re on the right track—is always appreciated. With this year being an unprecedented time of virtual work, many employees are feeling disconnected or alone, that their efforts are unseen.
Expressing gratitude is such an easy thing to do, and it makes such a big impact. Show people that you notice, that you care, that their efforts are appreciated.
Some might say, “Well, they’re being paid to work.” While this isn’t an untrue statement, there’s a difference between doing your job and doing it with passion, with commitment, and with excellence. If someone on your team goes above and beyond, tell them. Foster an atmosphere of appreciation. Foster a culture of mutual respect and admiration. Catch someone doing something right, and call it out! Avoid recognizing people only when they do something wrong.
You know your team best, so you know what your team members appreciate. If they’ve been pushing hard toward a tight deadline, order them lunch. Bring cupcakes or massage certificates. Write a handwritten note. They can tape that thing up on their bulletin board to remind them that their work is noticed.
The bottom line is that no matter your stance on how much emotion is okay to show in the workplace, gratitude is always acceptable, and encouraged. Getting great things accomplished is an act of a team. Make sure that all members of the team know that they are valued and appreciated. It’s just one more way that you can personally help evolve culture in your workplace.
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