Why Betabrand Encourages Colleagues to Say "Thanks"

Clothing retailer Betabrand realized only 10% of employees thanked a coworker on a daily basis. To remedy this, each of their weekly meetings is now closed by a round of giving “props”: employees go around the room and celebrate each other’s accomplishments, ending the meeting on a high note. This simple recognition program has five clear benefits:

  1. Builds trust. Betabrand recognizes that when you encourage teams to support each other, it deepens the level of trust and motivates them to do better for each other.
  2. Acknowledges less visible team members. Employees can give props to anyone for any reason, so it’s a great opportunity to throw a shout-out at IT for their rapid troubleshooting help, or HR for onboarding a large wave of new hires with ease.
  3. Provides ongoing feedback. Betabrand found that the biggest complaint during performance reviews was that employees weren’t getting enough feedback and felt underappreciated. The feedback given during these meetings is meaningful because it comes from peers who interact regularly and know each other the best.
  4. Increases happiness. Not only does it feel great to be recognized for your efforts, but research shows the giver of praise benefits as well. Expressing gratitude boosts moods by focusing on the positive aspects of the workplace.
  5. Retains more employees. Appreciated employees are loyal employees. More than a paycheck, demonstrating gratitude encourages employees to go the extra mile and stay motivated when things are tough.

Betabrand takes praise a step further by offering gift cards to the receivers of praise each week, and once every six weeks, they give away the company's airline miles to an employee particularly deserving of recognition.

Takeaway: While monetary employee rewards are a nice perk, they're no substitute for frequent (but genuine) displays of appreciation. Finding opportunities for you and your team to regularly express gratitude is a simple way to make work happy.

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