"On a given day, only 10 percent of people say “thank you” to colleagues—and 60 percent of people report that they never or very rarely express gratitude at work. So OpenIDEO posed a challenge for the best ideas on how express gratitude in the workplace. Over 300 contributions later they announced the winners.
You can have a look at the winning ideas here, but the real winners are the employers that are doing something about the sad state of gratitude. In addition to lower turnover, research by Harvard and Wharton shows a simple 'thank you' can boost productivity by over 50%.
The article points to a number of great research papers and articles about gratitude. Here are a few quick tips for getting started:
- Start at the top; people want to hear it from the boss
- Thank the people who do thankless work
- Quality and authenticity trump quantity
- Gratitude isn’t one-size-fits-all
- Make it personal
And there's a bonus in expressing gratitude. It feels good.
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“Your cognitive capacity is significantly reduced when your smartphone is within reach — even if it’s off. That’s the takeaway finding from a new study from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin.
McCombs Assistant Professor Adrian Ward and co-authors conducted experiments with nearly 800 smartphone users in an attempt to measure, for the first time, how well people can complete tasks when they have their smartphones nearby even when they’re not using them.”
The research also found that just having access to your phone reduces your focus and lowers your productivity. Apparently your brain is occupied trying not to pick it up, look at it. or use it.
"New research from Sage People, ‘Why your workforce isn’t working’, looks at how employees across companies of all sizes in the US, Canada and the UK view the workplace. The overall trend in productivity growth is stagnant and has been on a downward trend for the last several years.
This is costing the US a staggering $450-$550 billion a year. Industry
Research shows that only 1 in 3 people at work are fully motivated and productive."
Sage researchers found that many company benefits--such as ping-pong tables and company outings--aren’t improving productivity or keeping staff happy. Only 5% of employees found ping-pong beneficial, and only 9% liked company outings. More than half of respondents found games in the office distracting and a productivity pit.
What can organizations do to reverse this trend? Talk to your staff. Ask questions. According to the survey, almost half of respondents have never been asked by their employer how to improve their working experiences.
"Although many firms believe large, open-plan workspaces help collaboration, in fact, unless staff are in close proximity ‘you might as well be in Belgium’, said Dr Millard. However research has shown that put workers too close together and they clam up, as if being stuck in a lift together"
Dr. Millard suggests distractions and task switching among the biggest problems with open plan where "one size fits nobody."
Will offices no longer be needed? No, says Millard. They're still important -- if only for socializing.
Nearly 3 in 10 employees say their workplace fails to enable productivity. Lack of privacy and too much noise among top complaints.
A survey involving over 275k global employees showed only 28% would agree with the statement "my workplace allows me to work productively." Another 15% were neutral.
Over 90% say individual focused or desk-based work are important to their job, yet these are spaces are what they are most lacking.
More worrying is that a third of post-renovation/relocation projects deliver below average productivity. The report point to the need for more attention to post-move behavior modification.
The total time people are working – whether paid or otherwise – has not increased in Europe or North America in recent decades.
The amount of pressure we put on ourselves to be constantly productive, actually impedes our productivity.
"We all only have 24 hours in a day, yet some people are more productive than others. Many would just put this down to genetics – some people are just wired to be more productive than others – but in this insightful Virgin Podcast, New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, Charles Duhigg explains that we can all improve our productivity by thinking a little differently."
It's seemingly simple advice but I found it extremely powerful.
"Stand-capable desks have been shown to successfully reduce sedentary behavior in the modern office, but whether their utilization improves cognitive productivity is not known. We compared productivity between stand-capable desk users and traditional seated desk users in a call center environment. Data were collected daily over a continuous six-month period. We found that increased stand-capable desk use is a likely contributor to increased productivity over traditional seated desk use."
The study further notes adoption went from 23% in month one to 53% in month six.
Humanyze, a company that helps businesses better understand how their employees spend their days at work, today announced that it has raised a $4 million..
Using a combination of sociometric badge data and digital data tracking, the company claims to have the holy grail: how to measure productivity in the information age.
Mobile-Optimized Work Environments Drive Measurably Higher Employee Engagement and Business Performance | Aruba Networks Newsroom
This report proves that CIOs have the opportunity to use their mobile technology strategies to influence the employee experience – and therefore the productivity, creativity, loyalty and satisfaction of their workers. This is a departure from the usual target outcomes of efficiency and cost optimization, and allows IT to make a more meaningful contribution, both to the strategic ambitions of the organization and to the lives of its workers”.
The report is really worth reading. Like a handful of prior studies, it shows the affinity for mobile spans all generations. Employers who provide the best mobile technology support benefit from increased productivity, creativity, satisfaction, and loyalty.