An Employee Retention Must Do: Why Gratitude Is Work Appropriate

Do you truly show your employees that you appreciate who they are (not just what they do), making every worker feel valued and cared for as people first?

If you answered, “Not as much as we should?” or “I don’t know?”, then cultivating a culture of gratitude can make your workplace better for all.

No. 1 Reason Why People Quit

79% of people who quit their jobs cite NOT because they are underpaid or overworked, but because they feel undervalued and unappreciated as their reason for leaving. This means that managers need to openly and consistently recognize the performance and “heartbeat” of people and say thank you a little more often.

Why Gratitude at Work?

Expressing gratitude makes us feel better, it decreases stress, and it creates environments where others can flourish, and even boosts productivity by more than 50% according to one study from Harvard University and Wharton. So, why not make gratitude your main ingredient to awesomeness at your workplace?

Gratitude is contagious and the best retention tool any company can use to keep employees happier and sticking around with you longer. And, the icing on the cake: gratitude doesn’t cost a dime.

Make Everyday Employee Appreciation Day

Here are four ways to build appreciation for your employees into your everyday routine that will inspire more authentically grateful workplaces for all.


People need to hear “thank you” from the boss which sets an important tone and example for the rest of the team and the company. Clearly state what your team member did well, how it relates to their unique strengths, and how it helps the organization. In general, make it about their amazing qualities and less about how it helped you.

For example, “Your creative quick-witted thinking when an unexpected issue arose helped the event launch without hitch!” is way better than “You saved the day, thanks!”


Quick! What is Marty’s biggest pet peeve? What trip is on Julie’s bucket list? What’s Ben’s favorite way to unwind on the weekends? Don’t make the mistake of focusing solely on the work if you expect employees to do their best work. Initiate conversations about extracurricular activities to demonstrate that you care about your team members are individuals. By asking them about their weekends, their families, and their hobbies, and sharing about your own, you build trusting relationships.


Do you give your employees time to ask their question or share their stories? Even if you can’t talk in the moment, offer a time slot where you can connect later in the day. You create a lasting impact with team members by proactively connecting with them and have some questions ready to engage them, such as “What’s new?”, “What fires have you had to put out today/this week?”, “How can I help support you right now?”


No two individuals are alike and we each have our own unique desires and needs to what makes us feel appreciated. Which is why it’s important that you ask your employees to describe how they like to be recognized and what makes them feel most appreciated. Gratitude isn’t one-size-fits-all.

A Little Thanks Goes A Long Way

You don’t need to spend a lot to make people feel valued. And, the better news is that if you invest only a small amount of time and energy into appreciating your talent, you can save yourself, and your bottom line, a whole lot of grief. Giving thanks to your people isn’t only the right thing to do, it’s a smart business decision.

So, before you pack your bags and bolt to the airport or buy the feast you’ve been dreaming about this Thanksgiving, pause and communicate gratitude to all the individuals at your workplace table who serve you, support you, and guide you to innovate, and motivate you to bring your best self every day?

You don’t need a turkey to say thanks!