Handwritten thank you card

6 Steps to Being a Grateful Leader

The importance of showing gratitude to your team at work.

Expressing gratitude has been proven to be a very powerful characteristic in a leader. Highly productive and engaged staff like to feel appreciated and valued by their organisation. I think most of us would agree that we feel better about ourselves and our job when our hard work and efforts are acknowledged.

The culture of an organisation is the responsibility of the leader. It is you who sets the tone. If you make it positive and empowering then it will grow and prosper, which will in turn directly affect the productivity and bottom line of your organisation. It’s a win-win on so many levels.

Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” – Sam Walton, Wal Mart Founder

So how do you show gratitude, motivate and build a positive team culture? The following tips will help:

1. Know your team members

Showing gratitude and appreciation is so much easier when you know your staff and the work they are doing. Talk to them, get to know them individually. Take the time to find out what they’re working on and what sort of results they are achieving for your company.

2. Ask the right questions

When communicating with your staff it is important to ask them the right questions. What do they love about their job? What do they find challenging? What are their professional goals and ambitions? What drives them? When you have this knowledge it is easier to see how they are progressing towards their goals.

3. Delegate well

When you know the professional goals and strengths of your team members it becomes so much easier for you to delegate tasks to those with the strengths and interests that you need. It also increases morale as your staff are not overwhelmed or bored with tasks they are not equipped for or interested in doing.

4. Verbalize your gratitude

Openly verbalizing your gratitude and acknowledgement of a job well done is invaluable. It is good to publicly praise both individuals and the team. Let them know that you not only appreciate what they are doing but that you are happy to let others know about it too.

5. Offer rewards and incentives

Acknowledgement with something tangible is also a great way to express gratitude. It doesn’t need to be big or expensive. A movie ticket, an afternoon tea treat or even an early mark one Friday afternoon.

6. Make gratitude a habit!

Like most things we do, we need to practice consistently for it to become a habit. Even if you need to mark your diary to remind you to spend time with your team members both collectively and individually to acknowledge their successes and the contribution they are making. It won’t take long for the positive results to speak for themselves; you will soon go looking for them.

Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.”  – Sam Walton, Wal Mart Founder

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