Why we’ve made gratitude our business 🎁
Personal and professional happiness relies on a complex web of values that varies from person to person. But certain fundamental elements matter to everybody. On some level, everyone needs to feel appreciated. 💗
That’s basic human psychology – and it’s at the heart of everything we do at huggg. huggg exists because of the mutually assured, positive benefits to the senders and recipients of our products.
The evolution of messaging (which I talked about here) has shaped a workforce that expects to receive instant feedback – and they’re happy for it to be digital. According to reports, 42% of millennials want at least weekly feedback on their work, and 80% would prefer feedback in real-time, rather than reserved for specific review dates.
What does recognition do? 🏆
Behold the mighty power of the ‘thank you’. I spoke about this at a recent HR Tech event, and now I’d like to share my insights on giving thanks with you. Before we go any further, let me differentiate between an employer telling an employee that they did a great job, and thanking them for their work. The former is more passive: the employer is passing on positive feedback for a job well done, but they’ve only implied that they’re thankful. The latter guarantees that the employee will hear and (hopefully) feel their employer’s appreciation.
Why the emphasis on ‘thank you’ over ‘great job’? Simple. People who are thanked go on to be 50% more helpful. (1)
Being thanked generates a greater sense of self worth, and triggers a greater desire to help the thanker. So far, so awesome. When someone is thanked for their work, it reinforces that they are needed. This plays into what The Happiness Indicator report (2) identified as one of the top ten factors affecting workplace happiness today: feeling valued as an individual. In fact, it was ranked as the number one factor by employees, but tellingly it only came in at number three for employers.
How ‘thank you’ builds a better business 🔨
A key takeaway from The Happiness Indicator report is that employees want to feel valued as individuals, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to higher pay. Multiple HR and employee wellness reports state that financial rewards provide a short term boost to employee happiness, but recognition that is based on making an employee feel valued has a longer lasting effect. My colleague Becky identifies 6 different ways you can show employees your appreciation here.
There’s an obvious financial benefit to any business looking to implement a strategy of employee value over employee reward. But getting more creative with the ways we show employees they are valued has a two-fold business advantage. Yes, it can save money. But a value-driven system of thanks generates engagement within the business. There’s a clear correlation between employee engagement and solidarity with the company mission. And nurturing that relationship produces priceless results.
Finding the time to say ‘thanks’ ⌚
Timing is everything. Deciding when to thank your employees is a crucial part of your HR strategy, especially in light of today’s culture of instant feedback and real-time recognition. At huggg we champion a policy of little and often – in our own experience, we’ve found rewarding most impactful when distributed this way.
Think about when a thank you would be most meaningful, and you’ll soon build up a schedule of appropriate dates for a quick perk. Company-wide moments like the beginning and end of the financial year and business anniversaries, or even rewarding for using a new tech platform that the company has just introduced are a great place to start. Then get creative!
Customise a programme of rewards to suit your business: mark Mental Health Awareness day, celebrate International Women’s Day – even a small token of appreciation for Bring Your Dog to Work Day will go a long way. 🐶 Making your ‘thank you’s’ authentic and as unique as your business is the key to modern employee recognition.
I wouldn’t be true to huggg’s values if I didn’t conclude this post with some thanks of my own.
🙏 Thank you, the reader, for taking the time to read this blog, and thanks to my sources for their insights. The team and I appreciate each and every piece of feedback that our customers and partners share with us, so don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re building a better huggg with you in mind, so thank you for all your thoughts.
(1) Grant and Gino – Harvard Business Review
(2) Discover what really makes people happy at work