One of the biggest excuses people give for not showing gratitude in the workplace is: "That's what he/she gets paid for." What if we could flip this payment excuse on its head, and turn paychecks into vessels for authentic workplace gratitude?
I propose implementing a Human Resource Information System (HRIS) that is designed for the purpose of fostering gratitude towards employees. In addition to standard HRIS functions, it will incorporate the following features:
1. Thank You eCards
Over every pay period, employees will be able to create and send thank you notes to employees across all departments. These eCards will be customizable with a card designer module that allows for unique thank you notes to be made for different people or occasions. Employees will have the option to send the card immediately, or wait and send the Card with the employee's paycheck. In either case, all cards created for an employee in a given pay period will be attached to that employees paycheck, making that paycheck more endearing and personal.
2. Care Packages
Instead of a thank you card, employees will also have the option to contribute towards a personalized care package of snacks and goodies. When creating their profile, each employee will fill out a list of favorite snacks along with other information that employees can refer to for gift ideas. This feature can utilize an online delivery service such as Favor or Amazon Prime Now for quick delivery in fast paced work environments.
3. Gratitude Analytics
Managers and the HR employees will be able to see data about their workplace dynamics, such as: which employees are under recognized, which employees show the most gratitude etc. This addresses one major problem with gratitude in the workplace: thanking the people who never get thanked. These analytics will allow managers to clearly identify who they should prioritize with face time and words of encouragement outside of the software.
The software should be developed with a companion mobile app, so that people can show gratitude anywhere they go, even when they are not at work.
It is worth noting that this software is not a full solution for showing gratitude in the workplace. It works best in workplaces with an HR department. It is not meant to replace other creative forms of appreciation, but rather to foster a community of gratitude to begin with.
Overall, these features allow for personal and efficient ways of showing thankfulness in the workplace. Since none of the features are required to be fulfilled, employees will not be upset by forced gratitude.
Employee recognition is one of the key practices for increasing intrinsic motivation amongst employees, and employees with higher intrinsic motivation are more valuable than those without (see see here). Thus, these practices of recognition add value to any company that utilizes them.