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Expressing gratitude in the workplace provides many benefits, including stronger relationships and higher employee engagement. And when you have a positive workforce, the company gains improved productivity and organizational success. Unfortunately, many myths on gratitude keep leaders from expressing appreciation to their employees. Here are seven myths that prevent managers from building a culture of appreciation:

1. I can’t express gratitude.

Some leaders may feel that practicing gratitude is not part of their nature. However, demonstrating can be a soft skill learned with time and practice. It can start with a simple “thank you” or “good job.” For many leaders that struggle with expressing their emotions, it’s as simple as treating a deserving employee or team to coffee or lunch.

2. They’re already being compensated for doing their job.

Some managers think that a paycheck is the greatest reward and that employees don’t deserve more because they’re being paid for the work they were hired to do. However, money is not the only motivator. More than money, employees value intangible rewards, such as a sense of belonging, positive and actionable feedback, and recognition for performance.

3. Fear is a powerful motivator.

Some managers like to scare their employees, thinking that pushing them out of their comfort zone will either light a fire under them or make them fearful enough to do what they’re told. However, using fear as a motivator can be toxic. Humiliation and intimidation can strip a person of their pride, breaking them down so that ultimately, they will resent their manager and themselves.

4. People demand too much praise.

Desiring recognition for work done well is a natural human emotion. It’s also not exclusive to younger generations. People of all ages work better when complimented because it feels satisfying and provides a positive direction.

5. They’ll see through me.

Some managers worry that if they suddenly change their attitude, their employees will become suspicious and distrust them. However, employees will only feel uncomfortable if you’re not authentic. If you worry that expressing appreciation vocally will sound forced or fake, start with handwritten letters.

6. Praise should be saved for those who “deserve” it.

Saving praise only for those who hit numerical targets means that positive attitudes and behaviors that aren’t easily measured are left ignored. We know that the success of an organization doesn’t always depend on the person who meets the KPI but also involves the people whose good character makes them encouraging role models.

7. There’s not enough time.

Those who say there is not enough time in the day to express gratitude are simply not making the time. Demonstrating doesn’t have to be a grand gesture or even expensive. And it certainly doesn’t take hours away from the workday. For busy leaders, you can express gratitude with a handwritten sticky note or praise publicly.

As a former CEO and COO, I have built leaders and their teams for over 30 years. I now count top organizations among my grateful clients.

If you are interested in pursuing a conversation or just need more information on the topic above please let me know. There is never any cost for a discovery call which you can schedule right here:

I look forward to chatting with you.

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Inscape Consulting Group
Greg Nichvalodoff, BSc. BM (Honors), MBA, PCC, CMC
Office: 604.943.0800
Mobile: 604.831.4734