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Gratitude Goes the Distance

Guest blog by Nicolle Germain, MBA

Danke! Merci! Gracias! Maholo! Arigatô! Grazie! The word “thank you” can be said many ways – literally and figuratively. Over the past few months, Gratitude Goes the Distance the topic of gratitude has popped up in several books I have read and in numerous conversations I have had. Gratitude is described as ‘the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.’ What or who are you thankful for? Having thanks for what you’ve been afforded in life is important to remember everyday.
Have you verbalized your thankfulness recently? Gratitude in the smallest way, shape or form goes a long way. Whether it is in the workplace or in your personal life. Recognizing those around you can truly make a difference. Thanking your customers for their loyalty. Thanking your colleagues for their dedicated, hard work. Thanking your family members or friends for their support.

Recognition does not have to be elaborate or extravagant (no need for marching bands or singing telegrams!) – just validation of a job well done. There are endless ways to express your gratitude and recognize others. Ensure you do so with sincerity, are considerate of others’ feelings and highlight individual and collective achievements. Here are 3 key aspects to remember with recognition, make it:

Timely: Don’t thank someone for something he/she did 6 months ago. It doesn’t mean anything now. If anything, it’s more of an insult. Recognition needs relevance.
Specific: Pinpoint areas or tasks that really added benefit to a project and what you specifically appreciated. When in the workplace, most employees want acknowledgement that you value their contributions (big and small!).
Appropriate: There is no “one-size fits all” with recognition. Tailor your gratitude to your audience to ensure meaningfulness. Some people like appreciation in public, while others like subtlety with a simple thank-you card or email.
Workplace recognition (formal and informal) promotes positive mental health by helping employees build self-worth, gives meaning to their work and enhances their job satisfaction. An appreciated employee is an engaged and productive employee, which improves retention – and ultimately helps your bottom line and your work environment. For the greatest effect, incorporate recognition as a normal aspect of day-to-day life in your workplace. Encourage it at all levels – going up and down the corporate ladder.

A few suggestions to get your recognition wheels turning:

The Power of Greetings! A simple “hello” and “goodbye” at the beginning and end of the day is an obvious but often overlooked form of recognition.
Give a Shout Out! Acknowledge individuals or teams at a staff meeting or other special events.
Share the Good News! Tell your employees about positive comments that you hear from others.
Make it Personal! A special note can be a meaningful way to share your gratitude. Keep a pack of note cards in your desk for convenience.
Celebrate Together! At the completion of a project or an intense work period celebrate with a group social activity.
When was the last time you thanked someone? Why did you thank them? If you can’t remember the last time, then I’d say you have some room for improvement. Start small, keep it simple and get to it! Also, thank you for reading my latest blog. I honestly appreciate it. 🙂

photo credit: woodleywonderworks via photopin cc

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