An “attitude of gratitude” is more than one of those touchy-feely New Age phrases — it actually can be a valuable tool for managers to motivate deserving employees to improve production, build confidence, encourage innovation and develop more positive attitudes.
Gratitude doesn’t always mean awarding prizes or cash, or recognizing someone as “employee of the month” with a plaque or a parking space.
It’s a much simpler act: Thanking an employee, one on one, for what they do and what they bring to the workplace. You might be surprised at how many employees are floored when managers do this.
Three keys to keep in mind for leading through an “attitude of gratitude,” culled from Leading with an attitude of gratitude:
- Mix in feedback with the gratitude: Clearly identify what you are praising; it shouldn’t be a nebulous “good job.” Make it personal, too: “I want to thank you for … “
- Be authentic and specific: It’s important that employees know you’re being a straight shooter when you pat them on the back. Tell them what you appreciate them for — then single out a specific example of something they did that you noticed.
- Put it in writing. Don’t overlook the power that a handwritten note from the boss carries. It says much more than an email or a text message — and it’s something the employee is likely to keep and review in the future.