The best thing you could do for your employees is show them a little appreciation. Most of the time, when I have been shown appreciation, I feel like I could keep going above and beyond. A new study shows that when you make it personal, a note showing them appreciation will most likely boost their morale in the work place.
After a year of Covid disruptions, you and your employees are probably low on patience, energy, and, depending on how your industry was affected, maybe cash, too. Many teams are teetering on the edge of burnout. At the same time, many compassionate leaders lack the funds to offer them material perks, from bonuses to extra time off, to boost morale.
Thankfully, a new study suggests a way out of this predicament. If you're not in a position to offer your people financial incentives, a simple two-line thank you letter might go a long way towards helping them push through this last phase of the pandemic. Recognition is always appreciated, but psychology suggests this simple idea might be particularly powerful as we slowly begin to transition out of the pandemic.
A little recognition has big effects.
The pandemic has been hard on everyone, but it's been particularly brutal for frontline employees like social workers battling to help those most affected by the virus. At the same time, budgets are stretched thin so that leaders in these sectors are constrained in how they can help their exhausted staff.
Could a short, handwritten thank you letter make a difference, wondered a research team out of King's College London and Harvard? To find out, they had supervisors pen two-line thank youletters highlighting the positive impact social workers made this past year and mailed them to the employees' homes.
"One month after this simple intervention, the social workers who received a letter reported feeling significantly more valued, more recognized for their work, and more supported by their organization than those who didn't receive a letter. There were also positive (though not quite statistically significant) impacts on subjective well-being, belonging, intrinsic motivation, and sickness absence rates for social workers who received letters," the researchers report on Harvard Business Review.