By PREMA JAYABALAN
Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others. – Cicero
Well, it is Dec 22 and wait… THE WORLD HAS NOT ENDED! Rumours on how the world was supposed to end yesterday, can now be put to rest. It is time to brush off this myth and usher in the festive and holiday season with gratitude and a warm embrace. With the end of the year fast approaching, almost everyone, even the busiest are on the spree to show appreciation to the people in their lives. It is a time when everyone pauses for a moment to reflect and indulge in the spirit of giving.
Normally, this feeling of gratitude is shown mostly to family and friends but how about people from work? While most don’t associate this emotion with their workplace, have we pondered on how expressing this feeling can actually be a turning point in an organisation? Think about it, a simple gesture of showing appreciation will definitely impact an organisation in terms of relationships and performance which results in better productivity.
According to studies from the University of California and the University of Miami, experiencing gratitude balances hormonal levels and leads to the release of DHEA, “the anti-aging hormone.” Gratitude also boosts the immune system by increasing the LgA antibody. These studies found that engaging in daily “gratitude exercises” can raise the level of positive feelings.
When one is showered with gratitude, he/she instantly feels valued. This exudes happiness and this positive attribute contributes towards a better performance and fostering stronger relationships at work.
The current culture in the workplace has got many employees feeling unappreciated. Productivity rates may be good but we still hear of staff complaining that their efforts are not acknowledged. We also have employers grumbling about how their employees do not appreciate the perks offered to them and are always expecting more.
Well, it is time to think back and be thankful for what we have. There must be something which we appreciate and love very much in our organisation which has kept us there all this while. Let us leverage on this holiday season to express our gratitude to our employers and employees. Yes, that’s right, to our employers as well because they are after all, human and it is certainly not an easy feat to manage and run an organisation. Taking time to show appreciation to the job your boss does will certainly create a strong relationship between both parties.
Here are a few ways on how you could show gratitude to your employer and earn some brownie points:
Treat your boss to lunch
Well, it is common when your employer buys you lunch because he/she has got a bigger salary than you and it is not much for him/her. Nevertheless, wouldn’t it be a pleasant surprise for your boss if you were to treat him/her to lunch once in a while as a token of appreciation for all that he/she has done? Think about it, it will make both parties feel good and further enhance your relationship with your boss. It does not have to be lunch, even a simple tea or coffee will do.
This might interest you: Nine Habits Of People Who Build Extraordinary Relationships
Congratulate your boss on his/her achievement and success
If your boss has been acknowledged for his/her contribution or been given an award, make sure you send him/her a personal congratulatory note to show your appreciation towards his/her accomplishment. If the company has done well for this year, then do extend your congratulations to your boss as well. Your boss’s leadership and management skills must have definitely been one of the main contributing factors towards this success. Remember, that employers love to have their hard work and dedication appreciated as well. It is not solely about thanking the employees.
Express your gratitude by thanking your boss personally
With the current advancement in technology, it will be fast and effective to thank your boss through SMS or an email but nothing beats the personal touch. You may have been offered a major project to prove your ability and it would have been a success or you might have received a big appraisal bonus. Take time to get a thank you card and personally thank your boss for this. Don’t just stop at the big picture; take into concern the smaller things as well.
Throughout this year, your boss would have let you take some time-off to run a personal errand or would have given you some sound advice and ideas on how to tackle a tough client or a difficult project. These are the small gestures which should not be overlooked but rather appreciated as well. A thank you in remembrance of these actions will definitely put you in the good books of your boss.
Bosses are human too so treat them like family
When you are invited to your boss’s house for a barbecue night or an open-house function, step up and get acquainted with your boss’s spouse or partner – thank this person for the effort taken to have such an event for employees. If any incidences take place in your boss’s household, show your joy or concern. For example, if your boss has got a new child, get him/her a gift and a card. The whole department could chip in and get something for the new baby, too. Or if there is a death incident in the family, express your condolences and show respect.
This will make your employer realise that he/she is not merely seen as a boss but one of you as well. This will go a long way in strengthening the employer-employee relationship. A good employee is a priceless asset to the organisation. You can never put a value on a good staff. The holiday season creates a perfect opportunity to recognise your staff for their hard work and dedication.
Besides the usual company increment and bonus, here are some of the other things you can do as an employer to form a healthy and interactive bond with your employees:
Personally praise your staff for their achievements
Give your accolades a personal touch by addressing each employee by his/her name when giving recognition for their accomplishments. Do not inject any criticism in your praise as it will dim the positive remarks. Thank them for all their efforts. A simple word, “thank you”, which sadly is not used enough, can mean the world to many. Be genuine and warm while giving your remarks as it can be a boost to drive more work with a purpose. It can also turn a bad day to a good one for some employees.
Conduct office events
You don’t want to stop at just praise and want to do more? No problem! You can always have some events to celebrate this joyous season. You can have a lunch or dinner party for your employees and present them with gifts as a token of appreciation. Or you could arrange for a short office getaway for some fun. It could be to a theme park or the seaside. Or you could schedule your company trip for the holiday season and take all your employees on a vacation paid by the company. You will definitely be on top of the Best Employer list.
Practise flexibility in work hours
It is the holiday season and everyone is in need of time for shopping and gatherings. Infuse some flexible working hours this month to enable your staff to run their errands without getting stuck in the massive traffic. If they need some time to pick up their family from the airport or to get some chores done, don’t be a Grinch but give them a time-off. You could also opt to give your top performers an extra day or two off on top of the usual public holidays.
Bend the rules and imbue some fun
It is that time where everyone is in a holiday mood. Create a light and fun environment in the office by letting go of some unnecessary rules such as the formal attire rule. Bring in a casual approach and let your staff be clad in jeans. Have a colour theme and get all staff to wear a particular colour, each day or week. Have a day where everyone puts on a red Santa Claus cap. Have another day where everyone puts on a clown’s red nose. Try it and see how much fun and joy it brings. The key element for all this is for both employers and employees to feel appreciated, grateful and happy as the end of the year approaches. A conducive and positive atmosphere doubled with good vibes is the recipe towards a productive and prosperous organisation.
Affiliating your organisation with charity bodies not only helps in means of giving back to the community but it also earns you very good publicity. In the current status quo, people like to be associated with businesses that support causes which help the underprivileged. By practising this habit of giving, your organisation could be garnering in more business as well as getting some solid connections through strong networking. Charities today are strong and have good connections, thus they can help you in getting a good return for your good deed.
Recommended reading: Turning Luxury To Charity
How can an organisation give back to the community?
Plan and visit an orphanage or an old folk’s home
Get everyone to contribute cash, clothes, food and gifts to be presented to the people there. Spend some quality time with these people who are often forgotten by the society.
Adopt one NGO or a school from the rural area that need financial help and support
Offer not just cash but help in terms of fixing or repainting their building, beautifying the gardens and spring-cleaning.
Volunteer and do some social work at the local zoo
Our zoo could do with some volunteer work once in a while and offering help during the holiday season will certainly help a lot.
Do some charity work
Have a walkathon, jogathon, bake sale or even a car wash where everyone in the office participates. Get your clients to take part as well. Proceeds received from these activities can be donated to organisations for the underprivileged.
Adopt a pet
Our animal shelters are over-crowded with animals that make potential good pets. Start an initiative at work. Do something different this holiday season. Get the whole organisation to visit the animal shelter and adopt a pet. Think about it, you are providing home to a helpless animal and will get an abundance of love in return.