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Employee Engagement: Recognizing and Giving Thanks

Too often companies get all their executives together in one room and discuss their employee engagement strategy. Managers, HR and everyone else give their input and a new plan is put into place to keep employees engaged and excited about the company.

We’re not suggesting you dismiss this practice, in fact please do not. But also understand that everyone in your organization, from the CEO to the janitor, can help with employee engagement. Simply by recognizing employees and giving thanks when a job is well done can mean the difference between happy engaged employees and disgruntled employees considering leaving.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, here are some suggested ways to recognize and give thanks throughout your company.

Be Polite

This sounds obvious but it’s not always that simple. Make eye contact and smile when you walk by people. Greet employees by name and if you don’t know them by name, take a minute to introduce yourself. Think about how great you’d feel if the CEO of the company came up and said, “Hi, I don’t believe we’ve met. I’m Tom and I help keep things running around here. What’s your name?” Most employees would be thrilled that the CEO actually engaged with them.

Give Thanks

Instead of saying, “Thank you, you did a great job” be specific. Let employees know that you care and are grateful for what they personally bring to the table. One example might be, “Carie, you did an amazing job of negotiating the contracts with Webco. I know your team is going to be thrilled that you’re consistently looking for ways to cut costs.”

Write It Down

Writing notes may seem a bit old-fashioned but it goes a long way. I worked for a Fortune 1000 company and the CEO sent everyone on my team a hand-written note thanking us for our efforts on a recent project. That note was framed and hung on my wall for my entire tenure. Notes don’t always have to come from the CEO, they can come from managers, directors, colleagues and other team members.

Thank Everyone

It’s not only about thanking your employees, it’s important to continue giving thanks throughout everything you do. Calling, sending an email or writing your customers or vendors a message showing gratitude lets them know that you’re grateful for their business and that you appreciate them.

This is the time of year when we all should slow down, look around and be appreciative for everything we have in our lives. This year, I invite you take it one step further and give thanks in one of the ways mentioned above. It’s a great way to keep your employees engaged and start off the new year!

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