Having Grateful People

Ever wonder what it would be like if your employees weren't grateful for the nice things you do for them?

QUESTION: Jody treats her staff well, and she wants to know how to keep them from taking that for granted or not appreciating it. Dave tells her what he does in this same situation.

ANSWER: I’m like anybody else. If I spend a lot of money or do something big and it doesn’t have the impact or people are not grateful, it hurts my feelings. I’d rather keep my money and not get my feelings hurt. I just talk about it like that. I don’t whine as a leader about ungrateful people, but I teach on gratefulness sometimes. With us, this is work that matters and it’s a great place to work, and you need to act like it. Try getting an environment like this elsewhere.

If something comes up, I don’t trash anyone in public. But I’ll use an example of that person and that situation as a metaphor when I’m talking to the group. I just talk to them about it. It’s not a whiny thing, but I’m in their face and have very clear communication about it.

We buy lunch for our team every so often, and if that ever gets to the point where it’s being taken for granted, I’ll just stop doing it and do something else with that money. Just talk about it with your team, because those are valid feelings. One of the worst character traits is ungratefulness.

We do profit sharing at my office, and every month I make a big deal about that. It’s routine, but I don’t allow it to become routine because of the emphasis I put on the process.