The holiday season is here, and during this time, many people take the time to think about what and who they are grateful for. Likewise, it is more important than ever for leaders to take time to show gratitude to their teams. Between April and June 2021, a total of 11.5 million workers quit their jobs, and a recent Microsoft survey found that 41% of workers are considering leaving their current employer in what has been dubbed “The Great Resignation”. A Limeade survey of 1000 respondents who started a new job in 2021 found that 20% of those employees left their previous jobs because they felt their contributions and ideas were not valued. So how can leaders show gratitude to their teams in meaningful ways?
1. Start With Effective Communication
One common complaint about working during the pandemic is a lack of communication about plans and updates throughout this already uncertain time. Leaders should consider regular town hall meetings where employees can ask questions and voice concerns. These group meetings allow leaders to check in with their teams and share information and updates with the organization. However, it is also important to give employees a chance to be heard, ask questions and get answers.
2. Celebrate Special Occasions
When building personal and professional relationships, it is always important to remember and recognize special occasions like birthdays, work anniversaries, engagements, the birth or adoption of a child, etc. Something as simple as sending a card or small gift can go a long way to showing employees you care about them as a person.
3. Encourage “Well Days”
Throughout the last year, more and more workers have been reporting increased levels of burnout. Remote workers are working longer hours and checking in on days off. In-person workers are being asked to handle more responsibilities and face both health risks and cranky customers. Leaders should encourage their teams to use vacation days or take mental health days and insist they truly “log off” to prevent burnout and improve mental health. When your team has to sacrifice their mental health for work, they are less productive and more likely to be seeking new employment.
4. Offer Perks With Real Value
A 2018 survey of Gen Z workers revealed that perks that assist them financially are the most desired. After a year or more of working remotely, workers now say they value flexibility and autonomy more than well-designed offices and free snacks. Gen Z will have significant college loan debt that up to two-thirds will never be able to pay off in full. Helping them with expenses by offering competitive wages, free lunches, affordable healthcare, and significant retirement benefits will mean more to them than a lavish Christmas party or an office with a view.
5. Invest in Their Career Growth and Development
A great way to show your gratitude for employees is to help them grow their careers by creating clear paths to promotions and salary increases, as well as offering development opportunities. Offering mentorships or access to learning opportunities prepares them for future jobs and improves performance in their current positions.