If you're a fresh graduate in the working world. Your idea of the working world and office culture might still be romanticised. Reality is often very different from the stories your family, friends, and favourite TV shows tell you about. Just like any other workplace, the office can also turn into a space that breeds negativity and toxicity. Ask your friends and they'll tell you some horror stories about the working world. There are bound to be office gossips, backstabbing and hostile colleagues to name a few. But this can be avoided.
As a HR recruitment agency, we believe that the office culture can be improved by showing kindness, gratitude, and mindfulness to one another. In this article, we will suggest different ways of how you can spread kindness and gratitude to your colleagues, according to their different personality types!
A. Occasional treats for each other
When we think of gratitude, we think of welfare packs, and food is commonly found in welfare packs. Our parents often ask us “have you eaten” as an expression of love and care for us. We can always show care and concern for our colleagues by occasionally treating them, getting them their favourite food when they need them. When providing food for another person, you are ensuring that they are being well-fed and well-taken care of. It also reminds them that you are thinking of them, amidst your busy schedules. Food is one of the ways that can brighten up someone’s day, even when they are upset, angry, stressed, having a bad day, food can definitely brighten up their gloomy day.
When companies treat food to their employees, it provides welfare as it will lure their employees away from their busy desks to take a well-earned break, socialise with their colleagues, bringing a little fun to their days. This is a way of companies showing appreciation to their employees, which translates to showing gratitude to them.
B. Being there for each other
When we were younger, on bad days, we would look for our parents and talk to them about our days, or just hang out with our friends and we would feel much better. Similarly, when we are all grown up, we seek social reaffirmation when things aren’t going our way. As colleagues, it is inevitable that you will see each other’s faces more often than seeing your own family members, and that is the truth. Since you are working together, you are the one who will best understand what they are going through, especially when it comes to work problems. One of the ways that you can show gratitude and kindness towards your colleagues to be there for them when the times get tough, even if you are not very close to them. You could lend them your shoulder or ear when they have woes to share, or simply showing your presence, be there for them physically (or virtually).
But, of course, you shouldn’t only be there for them when the times get tough, you should also be there for them when times are good! Celebrate and congratulate them when they get a promotion or when they get recognised for their job well done.
C. Public recognition
This heading is quite self-explanatory, you recognise people’s efforts publicly, through a public post, a blog post, a public announcement, the list goes on. Public recognition is effective to show gratitude to your employees because it is a direct way of showing them that you appreciate their efforts. There are a couple of ways you do public recognition.
Praise publicly: recognise their efforts during a meeting or put up a post on the company blog/newsletter.
Surprise appreciation celebration: organise a surprise party for the employees that you want to recognise. Send them some food and cakes for the good job done, call for a meeting for the company to recognise the employee-of-the-day!
A thank-you corkboard (can be a virtual platform too): this is one of the ways that you can do public recognition silently for the people who do not like to be recognised publicly. Employees can also use this platform to put up thank you post-its to the people they are thankful for and elaborate shortly on what they did
D. Recognise efforts even when things go wrong
When things turn down south, people would tend to point fingers at each other, and that is common, but not the right way to spread kindness and mindfulness in the company. Even though it may not be of a human nature skill to have, it is still important for us to recognise the efforts of everyone in the team even when things go wrong.
Here is how you can continue to recognise the efforts of your teammates when things go wrong:
List: list out all the efforts of your teammates and sit down and thank them for doing their best
Party: even though things may not have gone your way, still throw an appreciation party for everyone’s effort
It is important to understand that different people have different reactions towards recognitions of efforts when things go south. Introverts would prefer recognition to be personal and on a one-on-one basis instead of publicly, while extroverts might be okay with public recognition of efforts.
E. Be respectful towards one another
One of the most straightforward methods of showing gratitude to your employees is by being respectful towards one another. By respect, it means that you accept somebody for who they are, even if they are different from you, or if you don’t agree with them. You would acknowledge their efforts, address their mistakes with kindness much like you would like to receive them.
You can be respectful by listening to people when they are talking to you, when they are pitching an idea to the board, or when they are expressing their concerns. You can better express your respect for people by thinking before you speak to others. By taking time to pause and think about your thoughts before answering, you will be able to better formulate your opinion and voice it out.
F. Lead by example
As leaders of the company, as supervisors of departments, as managers of teams, it is vital that they start the trend going. Oftentimes when we watch movies or even experience it ourselves, that company leaders often abuse their authority and talk disrespectfully to the people who work under them. But let’s not make it a habit from watching the movies and learn from the mistakes that the past leaders have made and start showing gratitude and kindness to your employees.
Be the one who organise events to appreciate your employees, be the one who delegates to people to recognise the efforts of your employees. Be the change that you want to see in your employees.
As the famous saying goes, “what goes around comes around”, though it is commonly used for negative connotations, it is applicable to positive connotations too. It is important that we show gratitude to not only your employees but also to the people who work tirelessly to keep the company going and don’t often get their efforts recognised, for example, the cleaners and security guards. A simple thank you goes a long way, don’t forget to show gratitude to them!
Like what you read? Share with us in the comments down below what you do to show gratitude to your employees! Looking to hire some great employees? Visit BGC Singapore for more information.
Read more: How to Minimize Workplace Negativity