28 Oct, 2021

Find Thanking Employees Awkward? This Will Change All That

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Written by
Micha Berkuz
“Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it all into words is all that is necessary.” – Margaret Cousins

It’s a sad fact, but many employers think that there’s no need to thank their people because “they’re getting paid for what they do”.

Sad because this attitude reduces the employee-employer relationship to a cold, transactional arrangement when it could - and should - be so much more.

Sad too because this emotionless position marginalizes every facet of the business, from job satisfaction, creativity and productivity to retention teamwork, customer care and retention.

Let’s take a look at what it is about thanking employees that some in management consider to be pointless at best - and unpalatable at worst… and then we’ll break it all down to reveal how these outdated attitudes can very easily be reversed to the benefit of all concerned.

“It seems gratuitous and insincere”

There’s a school of thought that saying thank you too often dilutes its meaning. Not true! The scholarly study ‘Kind words do not become tired words: Undervaluing the positive impact of frequent compliments’ proved conclusively that routine expressions of gratitude is never a bad idea! And it only comes across as insincere if it’s done automatically and without any thought. Good leaders know individual team members well enough to understand what challenges they face - and this is key to meaningfully articulating thanks.

“It’s a sign of weakness”

The very opposite is true - it’s a clear sign of confidence! The only way it will ever be construed as weakness is if every other action you take at the helm doesn’t support your standing as a steadfast leader. If anything, being capable of recognizing the input of everyone in your organization and openly demonstrating gratitude proves that you have the emotional intelligence essential to effective people management.

“It could make them feel too important”

There’s no such thing as ‘too important’! Everyone deserves to feel like their contribution is meaningful, recognized and appreciated. Great leaders aren’t afraid to say thank you to every member of their organization because the only reason anyone is there is because they perform a function that helps keep the business ticking over and moving forward; whether it’s the janitor, receptionist, mailroom staff, senior executives and everyone else in-between, recognition should never be seen merely as inflation of egos -it’s fully justified validation of the skills each individual brings to the table.

“Why should I thank them if they never thank me?”

If everyone thought like this, nobody would ever be the first to say those two magic words! The thanks you’ll get from expressing genuine gratitude will come in the form of increased focus, added self accountability, improved attendance, higher productivity, friendlier customer relations, greater profits, enhanced loyalty and stronger retention. The thanks you give today may well result in the stability and impetus that keeps you in business tomorrow and beyond.

“I just don’t know how to do it”

Break the ice with an appropriate gift! These days, you don’t even have to set foot in a store - there are corporate gifting platforms that make the process super easy and cost effective. It doesn’t have to break the bank - you can test it out by having a coffee or a meal delivered. You’ll be surprised by the reaction to even the most modest gesture. Of course, if your intended recipient is a consistently high performing employee, or has achieved something spectacular, there are plenty of ways to reward them including setting a suitable budget and letting them choose their own gift.

“Saying thank you is more than good manners, it is good spirituality.” – Alfred Painter

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