Man holding thank you word in palmHappy Thanksgiving from! We appreciate all of our readers, partners and contributors and just want to offer a much deserved “Thank You” on this special day.

Doesn’t it feel good to be appreciated and to know that someone is thankful for all the work that you do? To be recognized and hear the phrases, “Thank you,” or “Good Job” or “I appreciate you”?

Expressing gratitude and appreciation toward your workers is not only crucial for this holiday season, but all year long. had the opportunity to chat with Spherion Division President Sandy Mazur about the importance of showing appreciation in the workplace. Read on to discover the benefits behind giving thanks—pluses that not only positively affect employees, but employers too:

1. How does a company expressing gratitude and appreciation toward its employees affect retention?

Everyone enjoys feeling appreciated and being recognized for a job well done. Although most workers don’t expect their employer to ring the victory bell every time they accomplish a task, a simple “thank you!” or “great job!” at the appropriate time can go a long way. The more specific the positive feedback is, the better. Without gratitude, it is nearly impossible to build a strong relationship between a supervisor and an employee. According to Spherion’s Emerging Workforce Study, this is one of the key elements for retention: 62 percent of workers indicated “supervisor relationships” are very or extremely important to retention while “management climate, including open door policies and/or regular communication with employees” (68 percent) and “culture and work environment” (64 percent) are also important factors. Expressing gratitude in the workplace not only boosts the confidence of the worker, but it reverberates positively throughout the office culture and increases employee morale.

2. What are some of the best (most effective and appealing) ways a company can show appreciation toward its employees this holiday season?

While it’s common for employers to thank their employees by rewarding monetary bonuses to them during the holidays, this isn’t the only gesture that employers can use to show appreciation. For instance, our study shows that fewer than two out of every five employees are very or extremely satisfied with the time and flexibility their employer provides. So if an employer allows their staff to leave early or have a paid day off during the holiday season, this can demonstrate that they value the employee’s life outside of work and want them to make time for the “life” in their work/life balance.

A company can also show appreciation for its employees by allowing them to take paid time off to give back to the charitable causes that mean the most to them this holiday season. Workers desire and appreciate this opportunity because it allows them the time and flexibility to give back to their communities in a meaningful way. Often the saying is true: “what goes around comes around.” For employers, this simple gesture has the potential to pay off as employees are inclined to invest more of their time into work since the employer invested time into the employee. This practice seems to be more common these days as the number of companies that offer paid time off for community service increased about 20 percent from 2009 to our latest study!Sandy Mazur headshot

3. According to Spherion’s Emerging Workforce Study, 25 percent of workers are dissatisfied with their jobs. What role does lack of gratitude/appreciation from an employer play in this?

Receiving recognition in the workplace is not only a major motivating factor for employees, but it also plays a big role in their overall job satisfaction. Employees aren’t going to want to stay in an environment that doesn’t reward or recognize their hard work. So, employers need to keep this top-of-mind to ensure that they are showing their gratitude for their employees, before the lack of appreciation compels them to leave. This practice needs to be authentic and ingrained in the company’s culture.

4. How does recognizing employees benefit companies?

Companies are fighting for top talent these days. So if they want to keep their valued employees, recognizing them and their contributions can reduce employee turnover, which is a large cost savings to any organization.

Another benefit of recognizing employees is that it fosters teamwork and builds loyalty to the organization. If your company’s mission includes employee retention and job satisfaction, this can reap big rewards. Employees who believe their company has a strong mission and follow through on that mission have much higher job satisfaction (70 percent) and are far more likely to stay with their current job for 5 or more years (70 percent) than employees who don’t believe this (23 percent and 34 percent, respectively).

When you reward and acknowledge those who display those qualities/values most important to your organization, they gain a sense of purpose and motivation that doesn’t go away after the appreciation is shown. As a result, they transform into brand ambassadors, generating new leads for clients and talent for your company.

As the year comes to a close and you consider how much you value your employees’ contributions, remember that giving thanks is a small gesture that can have a big impact on future performance and employee morale.

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