(Guest article by Megan Hicks)
As a business owner or manager, one of the most underrated skills you can possess is letter writing. When you first hear this, you may think that I’m talking about basic header formatting and appropriate salutations, but that isn’t what I’m going to cover here. Assuming that you can easily find a template to format your letter, today, you can learn how to write with a significant understanding of how you can approach your employee with gratitude for workplace accomplishments.
Find out why you should be sending a letter of appreciation and how to associate your gratitude as an employer with a sense of pride in your employee. You will also see how to ward off feelings of being taken for granted and the one thing that motivates workers above all else. With this comprehension, your letter of employee appreciation will be optimized beyond a level you ever expected.
Why Would Your Employee Want a Letter of Appreciation?
The first thing you should explore is the reasons one would want to receive a letter of appreciation from you. The answer is not, because she did something nice, or, because he helped increase company sales 17% this quarter. Think beyond what your employee has done to the core feelings and thoughts associated with being appreciated at work.
When someone feels that they are being valued in the workplace, this instills a sense of pride and directly contributes to workplace engagement, satisfaction, and motivation. Your employees wants these feelings. They are spending the majority of their waking life at work, and their level of fulfillment is going to determine how long they stay with your company or start looking for a new place to work. Letting them know when you are grateful to have them there will play a role in this outcome.
Associating Praise With Pride
You are building long term relationships in your company, and giving praise is one of the best ways to reinforce positive behavior. Part of your purpose here is to instill a sense of achievement. By facilitating feelings of pride in your employee, you can be confident that this will perpetuate. Future work will be done with perpetual success. Success for your employee leads to company growth.
When writing this letter of appreciation to the employee, be sure to let your employee know that he or she should feel proud or accomplished for what has been done at work. Give specific examples of how their actions sets them apart from the rest of the organization.
Avoiding the Being Taken for Granted Syndrome
You don’t ever want your employees thinking that they are being taken for granted. When their work goes unnoticed, they can start to think that they aren’t being noticed for their value. This can lead to a switching-off from the career area of life, and spending more time focused on other realms in which he or she feels more fulfilled. You want to avoid this because, frankly, you need your employees focused on and even passionate about the task at hand.
If you can fit it into the letter, simply state, “Your work doesn’t go unnoticed,” or, “You are not taken for granted.” Clearly emphasize the fact that you notice the effort that is being put into the job, and you appreciate it. Reading something like this will bring the staff member’s attention back to the current moment if it was starting to slip.
Write With this Surprising Motivation Fact in Mind
According to a popular RSA production based on a study done to find out what really motivates us at work, choice played the greatest role in motivation in the workplace. That’s right, more than monetary gain and gratitude, the freedom to make one’s own decisions led to more motivation at work.
Here’s the video, and you should watch it through to the end:
So, when writing with your employee in mind you should be crafting your message with this in mind. What decisions did your employee make on their own that you can mention? If there wasn’t anything at work, since the projects have to be managed pretty intensely, can you find something that is done outside work hours to give some attention to? Maybe he or she is a creative artist or musician on the side.
Make sure to take notice of things like this, because you want him or her to associate the fact that their own decisions are in alignment with what is going on at work in one way or another. This will lead to long-lasting inspiration.
So, you’re writing a letter of appreciation to contribute to higher levels of engagement, satisfaction, and motivation. By establishing gratitude, you will recreate pride in the work of your employee and higher organizational success.
Your worker will be confident that he or she is not being taken for granted. And, by integrating acknowledgment of the decisions that this employee made on their own, you will reinforce and increase motivation at work. You should be ready to write your letter now.