The world of work is changing. According to Mercer, 93% of worldwide organizations report they are planning to redesign their structure in the next two years. Simultaneously, Glassdoor states more than 75% of hiring decision-makers report attracting quality candidates is their primary challenge. At Questback, we see this within our own organization as well as with our clients.

As digitalization, innovation and technology continue to mold the future of work, it serves organizations to think more cohesively and strategically about the relationships most important to their business. Organizations need to think about their people – employees.

Poignantly stated by Harvard Business Review, “Businesses don’t create value; people do.” Our employees, their experiences, how we build relationships and our mutual devotion to organizational goals and objectives are second to none. Let’s take the season to remember that employees are a leader’s and company’s greatest asset. Let’s be thankful for our employees.

While a nice sentiment, most organizations and leaders have a difficult time translating the concept into practice. Here are three methods that any leader can implement to show genuine appreciation for your employees this holiday season.

 

Create a Culture of Trust (Over Food)

‘Breaking bread’ is a tried-and-true, time-tested method for fostering and embracing a culture of trust with your employees. Whether it’s a team lunch or company-wide potluck, establish a few company traditions where everyone comes together to enjoy a meal and the company of their colleagues. This can take various forms. Our Oslo office has “Waffles in the Canteen” every Friday, Stockholm has weekly knowledge-sharing breakfasts. One Wednesday per month, Cologne hosts a “Mettwoch” – a German portmanteau of “Mett” (German minced pork) and “Mittwoch” (Wednesday). As the leader of an international organization, my team also uses food to share and embrace our diversity. Just a few weeks ago, I was sharing with one of my offices how I look forward to lutefisk, a Norwegian dish, that is popular during the holidays. Break bread with your team and foster a genuine culture of trust.

Be Authentic (in Celebration)

Authenticity, transparency and honesty go a long way in building trust – and showing appreciation. We have all been to ‘forced’ parties where one is happier to depart than arrive. It’s important for organizations and leaders to embrace authenticity throughout their employee experience. While Questback has company-wide traditions, we also embrace traditions unique to each office or department. Traditions authentic to a particular team subset. For example, our London office has on-going pool tournaments (with long-standing champions) where Helsinki holds an annual golf tournament and Houston has monthly social hours. Authenticity is crucial to building real trust in an organization and ensuring appreciation is genuinely expressed and received.

Empower Simplicity (During the Holiday Chaos)

One of the most overlooked (and underutilized) methods of showing appreciation is simple communication. Organizations, departments and teams often lose simple communication in the hustle-and-bustle of work. Simple nuances like “hello” and “thank you” are often lost to deliverables and results. Remember: There is power in words, and saying “thank you” holds more merit than given credit. Ensure your team is communicating at all levels – not just around work product and results but at an interpersonal level. And ensure you are the example leading the pack. Say “thank you.”

 

Thanksgiving is a time of appreciation. With attacks and catastrophic events close to our offices in London, Stockholm, New York City and Houston, our appreciation for our team, our employees, is deep-seated this year. But appreciation, trust and authenticity should not be holiday-only ideals; they should permeate an organization from top to bottom. For, on this foundation, organizations can transform their teams, creating a high-performance culture leading to competitive advantage. Start today. Show your employees you are thankful for them.
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Supporting Hurricane Harvey Recovery

With one of Questback’s central offices located just North of downtown Houston, Hurricane Harvey hit particularly close to home. As our employees, families and friends continue to rebuild their communities, businesses and lives, we at Questback want to show our undying support for their efforts and aid in the recovery. Joining forces with G2Crowd, your participation matters. Learn more.

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