Daniel Elliott: Saying ‘thank you’ has far-reaching business impacts

Daniel Elliott

A large number of employees will at some point in their career experience times of frustration and the feeling that they are not appreciated. Many organisations have a demanding culture, requiring long office hours and even weekend work, all for the good of the organisation.

For a staff member going above and beyond, a simple ‘thank you’ is often enough to make it worthwhile. Knowing their efforts have been acknowledged makes them feel valued and much more willing to do it again when necessary.

Conversely, a lack of thanks is likely to make an employee feel frustrated and unappreciated. A recent study, Implementing continuous and social recognition, published by employee engagement provider Reward Gateway in May 2017, found that half of British employees would leave an organisation if they were not regularly thanked and recognised for their efforts. The research, which surveyed 500 employees and 500 senior decision makers, further found that 84% of employees believe managers and leaders should spot good work and give praise when it happens.

This research also revealed that over half of employees in the UK would prefer to be thanked by their managers as and when they do good work, rather than with a single annual event, for example at Christmas. Why wait until the end of the year to reward staff, when employers could hold regular events that say thank you and give employees some time out of the office, helping with productivity, reducing stress and improving team morale?

At Center Parcs, we believe it is important to reward staff throughout the year. Stress is a major cause of sickness absence, costing organisations over £5 billion per year, according to The Institute of Directors’ Mental health in the changing world of work report, published in March 2017. It creates lower productivity, human error and poor performance. High levels of stress can lead to job burnout, depersonalisation, emotional exhaustion and reduced accomplishment. Rewarding staff regularly for their efforts can help to relieve stress and build rapport and productivity.

There are many ways to reward staff in recognition of their good work. One great method is to schedule regular away-days that incorporate team building activities, giving staff time out of the office to enjoy new experiences with colleagues that focus on having fun and re-energising the group. This type of reward has a clear return-on-investment for employers, because staff feel more appreciated and are more likely to show higher levels of loyalty.

Incorporating these regular demonstrations of appreciation as part of the overall business strategy to thank staff is a great way to build a solid organisational culture, which staff will benefit from both professionally and personally.

Ultimately, creating a workplace that employees love is critical for businesses, as happiness has a multiplying effect. Happy employees are successful and have the right attitude, and reducing stress increases productivity. A simple ‘thank you’ really does go a long way.

Daniel Elliott is national sales manager at holiday organisation Center Parcs