Starting With Thank You
When something goes well, when it's a pleasure working with your team or department members, thank them. Gratitude doesn't just come from the director; you can thank your colleagues as well.
When someone compliments you, own it. And say thank you.
Make a thank you matter. Don't diminish its meaning through overuse.Leaders
Understand what your staff is doing so you can thank them appropriately, and so you know the difference between a daily job done well and a challenge met with new and inventive thinking.
Be clear about whether you're thanking an individual, a group or both, and don't hesitate to call out an individual's or a team's exemplary service.
Remember that 4 out of 5 employees say they would stay in a job longer if their boss showed appreciation for their work. This is not the moment to play Scrooge. Check out this link for more details on how employees feel about being appreciated: Glassdoor Survey.
Be equitable in your thank yous. Don't favor one demographic--new employees vs. experienced, young vs. old--over another.
Be creative in how you thank folks. Can you offer an exemplary employee a chance at a juicy, creative project or a new parent the chance to telecommute?
Respect your staff. Your behavior is an ongoing thank you.Organizations
Appreciation--the act of saying thank you is a great motivator. Museums and heritage organizations thank donors all the time. Don't forget to thank staff as well.
As with leaders, thank you's come in many forms. Raises are the most obvious and reflect gratitude for dedication and achievement at work. If that's not possible, how about career development opportunities, time off or an unexpected gift? (My colleague's notes and flowers, for example.)
And speaking of time off, if you can't close the museum or heritage site, can you offer half the staff four or eight hours off while the other half covers, and then reverse the procedure? Everyone gets paid time off and it may prove eye-0pening to experience the museum while covering someone else's job.
Make sure your board (or the the board's compensation committee) understands what your museum staff values when it comes to employee appreciation and what they don't, and make sure the leadership and staff are comfortable communicating that information. So for those of you on a break from work this long weekend, we hope it was a happy one. Write and let us know how you say thank you as employees, leaders or as an organization. Joan Baldwin