thankfulNovember is the month for giving thanks—something we should all probably do more often.  Personally, I say “thank you” multiple times every day.  But to really give thanks—to really be grateful—that’s another thing.  Here are a few things I’m thankful for:

Organizations that value their employees by being clear about what is expected, by giving feedback, by being honest with the tough messages.

Supervisors who care about their employees enough to discuss the “undiscussables”.

Bosses who have a vision and incessantly share it with others in the organization.

Leaders who are not afraid to say “I messed up” or “I need help.”

As a trainer, author, and coach who specializes in building the confidence of leaders, this is the stuff I dream of.  These kinds of organizations and leaders are out there and for that I am thankful. If you aren’t in a grateful organization, here are a few tips that might move the organizational culture toward thankfulness:

Teach leaders to provide timely and direct feedback, in the good times and bad.  Fostering an environment where employees are frequently recognized and where performance issues are promptly discussed is the fast track to a performance-driven culture.

Engage employees in discussions about their performance and the performance of the organization.  The more you talk about it, the easier it is to influence positive behavior.  The more you ask them for input, and use their ideas, the more invested they will be in the organization’s outcomes.

Create a plan for the future.  An organization-wide strategic plan is great, but how will your work unit be different a year from now?  How will your team have changed, improved, grown over the next year?  Working together to create a compelling plan for the future can be a simple way to express your confidence in their ability to contribute.

Just say it.  Saying “thank you” in numerous ways will leverage good will and translate into increased commitment and loyalty.  Say thank you in person, via email, on a note card, on the white board, in the lunch room, over the PA system, in the newsletter, on the internet…there are an endless number of avenues you can use to express your appreciation for what your employees bring each day.

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