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Updated: Dec 2, 2022

Strong company cultures begin with clear visions. However, establishing and sustaining these cultures dependson employees who understand their organizations’ values and engage in behaviors that align with those values. Successful companies recognize that culture is an effective way to find, build, and maintain an engaged, high-performing workforce. InThe Power of Thanks, Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine discuss how companies can use social recognition to proactively manage their organizational cultures and generate business value.

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There are several aspects of appreciation that make it vital for culture management. Appreciation is motivating, humanizing, specific, empowering, and powerful. When people thank one another, it benefits both the giver and the receiver. Gratitude uplifts people’s spirits and promotes well-being. There are 14 beneficial effects that gratitude has on the health of employees and the workplace:

  1. Grateful people achieve more.

  2. Grateful people are better corporate citizens.

  3. Grateful people are less likely to burn out.

  4. Grateful people pay it forward.

  5. Grateful people are morally alert.

  6. Giving creates a positive feedback loop.

  7. The opportunity to give increases employees’ commitments to their companies.

  8. Givers are more engaged.

  9. Gratitude increases emotional wellbeing.

  10. Grateful people get along better with others.

  11. Grateful people are more resilient to trauma.

  12. Grateful people sleep better.

  13. Grateful people are physically healthier.

  14. Grateful people are less depressed.

Research has found that nonmonetary rewards are the key to improved employee performance. These rewards are more flexible, affordable, and immediate than salary increases. They can be paid in the “currency” of recognition. When managers and employees offer respect, recognition, encouragement, and emotional support, they make deposits of goodwill and energy in one another’s lives. Those deposits can be spent on productive activities.

Engaged employees contribute to their companies’ cultures and constantly reinforce the values that support their organizational missions and bottom lines. Engagement is defined as the willingness to do more than the minimum on the job. Unfortunately, employee engagement is rare and its absence costs organizations hundreds of billions of dollars. The authors believe that empowerment and encouragement are factors that generate and maintain employee engagement over the long term. Empowerment is the foundation of accountability and delivering on commitments, whileencouragement is practically free and it literally gives employees courage to act in ways that reflect their organizations’ values and cultures.

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