Thanks boost staff morale

It might seem a small thing but a simple 'thank you' is one of the best ways to motivate employees, yet a third of UK workers are almost never thanked by their bosses, according to a recent survey.

The research, from employee engagement concern Maritz, revealed that 16 per cent of staff are thanked or rewarded just once a year while a further 16 per cent never hear any appreciation from superiors, either verbally or in writing.

However, more than three-quarters of respondents rated a simple thank you as important to them, while more than half would stay longer in a job and would put in extra effort if they received thanks more often. Being thanked in front of colleagues was also cited as a key motivator.

There’s even scientific proof that thanking people boosts morale. ‘The emotional need to be thanked may be hardwired into our genes; our brain looks for gratitude and appreciation as a marker that effort is being invested in the right places,’ explains Dr Paul Marsden, a social psychologist at the London School of Economics. ‘That is why thanking employees for their work may improve loyalty, performance and goodwill.’

’High turnover in staff and low productivity are real problems for small firms,’ comments Stephen Alambritis from the Federation of Small Businesses. ‘Anything they can do, such as a simple thank you, to address these issues is a must in today’s busy workplace.’

To combat this apparent lack of gratitude in the workplace, Maritz has declared Thursday 24 November officially National Thank You Day.

See also: Crucial aspects of employee management – some key tips to getting the most from your staff

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Employee engagement

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