Want To Elevate Your Employees’ Engagement? Appreciate Them First.

Your reports are sauntering back into the office feeling fresh from their holiday breaks. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, they’ve sat amongst their friends and families and answered a chorus of questions including, “How’s work going?” and “How are you liking your job?” 

Consciously or subconsciously, these inquiries have primed them to reflect on their work experiences. And as they start putting their 2020 resolutions on lockdown, “Get a new job” may appear on their lists.

Meanwhile, you’re gearing up for the new quarter. The last thing you’re prepared for is composing job descriptions and sifting through resumes to backfill your employees’ roles. 

You know it’s important to show your employees that you value them. Since Q1 is the perfect time for job-hopping, ensuring that they’re happy in their roles and helping them feel motivated to stay on your team is of the utmost importance. 

So, how can you start the New Year off right with your employees? Show them a little appreciation!

The Biggest Threat for Managers? Unengaged Employees

If you’re wondering what the biggest threat all organizational leaders and managers face is, it’s a lack of employee engagement. 

According to Gallup’s 2017 State of the Global Workplace, only 15% of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs. That’s a very small number. Concerning the U.S. specifically, this same report divulges that 24% of employees are actively disengaged.

Worst of all? It’s costing you and your business. Every year, employers lose $500 billion as a cause of employee disengagement

Are this many professionals genuinely unhappy in their current roles? Well, not exactly. 

You’ve seen it all over your LinkedIn feed: people don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses. HBR supports this statement by claiming that the primary reason people leave their companies is because they don’t like their boss, followed by their inability to see opportunities for growth or promotion. 

As their manager, it’s up to you to identify tactics to elevate your employees’ engagement or else risk losing your star reports. It may even be simpler than you think… 

Employee Motivation Starts with Psychology

Time to blow the dust off of that Psych 101 textbook. The simplest way to enhance your employees’ motivation? Appreciation. 

Forbes denotes that appreciation is the most powerful driver of employee motivation, loyalty, and job satisfaction. In fact, in the majority of employees’ eyes, gratitude is an even better motivator than money

A study involving fundraising calls proves this point. After conducting an exercise to determine if expressions of gratitude affect individuals’ self-efficacy and social worth, researchers discovered that employees who were thanked by their managers made 50% more fundraising calls than their co-workers who weren’t thanked.

Even uttering a simple, verbal “thank you” will make your reports feel special and will positively impact their efforts. 

Overcoming the Employee Appreciation Paradox

Managers know it’s essential to show their employees that they appreciate them. And when asked what they could do more of in order to increase their reports’ engagement, 58% of corporate leaders replied with, “give recognition.” 

Yet, with annual workplace turnover rates on the rise, why aren’t employees praised more frequently? 

Well, two workplace surveys present some revealing numbers regarding praise in the workplace: In general, managers admit that providing feedback to their direct reports is stressful, and 21% avoid giving any feedback. To make matters worse, 37% of managers admit that they also avoid giving positive reinforcement

This reluctance to give praise in the office stands in the face of the benefits of positive feedback.

It takes more time, effort, and funds to hire and train new employees than it does to recognize current reports. To save yourself hours that could be spent trying to fill open recs, practice overcoming the employee appreciation paradox and your employees will be less likely to leave your organization. 

The Effects of Practicing Employee Appreciation

To review the positive effects of practicing employee appreciation, here are three key findings that all managers should be aware of: 

  1. When their boss shows appreciation for their work, 81% of employees report that they become motivated to work harder.
  2. Global studies conducted by O.C. Tanner reveals that 79% of people who quit their jobs cite ‘lack of appreciation’ as their reason for leaving. 
  3. 40% of employed Americans say that they’d put more energy into their work if they were recognized more frequently, and 82% of those employed Americans assert that they don’t feel like their supervisors acknowledge them enough. 79% of individuals from this same surveyed group state that one of the reasons they left their last job was due to a lack of appreciation.

Whether it’s simply making them feel special or rewarding them when they’ve met or exceeded their goals, your brief gestures of recognition could provide your employees with long-term engagement that will affect both your team and your company at large.

A New Resolution for Employee Engagement

With the power of managing direct reports comes the responsibility of assuring their happiness and motivation both in their roles and in their workplace.

If you’ve been sweating while reading this post because you scrapped employee gifting this past holiday season, don’t worry: employee appreciation should occur year-round. 

A great way to ensure that you start the new year off on the right foot? Show your reports a little Thnks before Q1 heats up. 

Thnks can help you empower your employees and enhance their motivation. Within seconds, you can show them your appreciation by searching for a gift, personalizing a note, and sending it off via SMS or email. Interested in learning more? Sign up for a demo