The influential New York Times bestselling authors—the “apostles of appreciation” Chester Elton and Adrian Gostick—provide managers and executives with easy ways to add more gratitude to the everyday work environment to help bolster moral, efficiency, and profitability.
Workers want and need to know their work is appreciated. Showing gratitude to employees is the easiest, fastest, most inexpensive way to boost performance. New research shows that gratitude boosts employee engagement, reduces turnover, and leads team members to express more gratitude to one another—strengthening team bonds. Studies have also shown that gratitude is beneficial for those expressing it and is one of the most powerful variables in predicting a person’s overall well-being—above money, health, and optimism. The WD-40 Company knows this firsthand. When the leadership gave thousands of managers training in expressing gratitude to their employees, the company saw record increases in revenue.
Despite these benefits, few executives effectively utilize this simple tool. In fact, new research reveals “people are less likely to express gratitude at work than anyplace else.” What accounts for the staggering chasm between awareness of gratitude’s benefits and the failure of so many leaders to do it—or do it well? Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton call this the gratitude gap. In this invaluable guide, they identify the widespread and pernicious myths about managing others that cause leaders to withhold thanks.
Gostick and Elton also introduce eight simple ways managers can show employees they are valued. They supplement their insights and advice with stories of how many of today’s most successful leaders—such as Alan Mulally of Ford and Hubert Joly of Best Buy—successfully incorporated gratitude into their leadership styles.
Showing gratitude isn’t just about being nice, it’s about being smart—really smart—and it’s a skill that everyone can easily learn.
"The expression of gratitude for employees' efforts... can be a huge motivation and productivity booster," observe Gostick and Elton, cofounders of a training company, the Culture Works, and authors of The Carrot Principle, who labor to stretch out a full book on this simple principle. Gratitude, they propose, is good for teams, individuals, and the bottom line, and mastering its practice and expression can help managers engage and inspire their workforce. The coauthors present statistics, derived from a research study they commissioned, demonstrating that appreciative bosses have better motivated and more effective employees, but the only effect is to put numbers behind what everyone already knows. Gostick and Elton break down myths including fear is the best motivator, kids these days are too approval-hungry, and good managers parcel out praise sparingly, then walk readers through how to express gratitude meaningfully and encourage intra-team recognition. The book hinges on eight gratitude practices (such as "tailor to the individual," "assume positive intent," and "walk in their shoes"), which could be easily covered in a listicle. Chatty and friendly but ultimately skeletal, this is a better elevator pep talk than it is a full-length primer.