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Gratitude and thankfulness most certainly are the theme for this latter time of the year.

With the holidays coming in quickly, thankfulness projects adorn our childcare classrooms. Messages of gratitude are front and center in communication to families. And, thankfulness has likely become the focus of our marketing efforts.


So, extending wishes of gratitude internally to our own staff and teachers can sometimes feel forced and unauthentic given the saturated thankful messaging of the month. Leaving us feeling like an impostor with an impossible task. Can you relate?


But, according to a recent Forbes article on the subject of gratitude,

“Gratitude is a powerful concept. It goes beyond praise. It goes beyond positive reinforcement. Gratitude is a recognition of interdependence, of the fact that success is the result of team effort.”

In a report shared by Glassdoor, 4 out of 5 (81%)  employees report they are motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation.

Given those findings, here are some key ways to show your employees gratitude without feeling like an impostor:


Focus on the Whole Person.

Show appreciation for who your employees are not just what they do or how they perform. It’s people who fill our classrooms. People with real emotions, motivations and lives outside of our walls. A focus on caring about the person can be one of the most authentic ways to express gratitude.


Detailed and Specific Thanks.

Rather than a generic “thanks for all you do,” specific feedback on what you’re thankful for shows that you pay attention rather than robotically go through the motions.


Different Approaches to Expressing Gratitude.

Each employee has their own preferences for how they like to get and internalize gratitude. Taking a one-size-fits-all approach may not be the best solution for lasting, authentic impact. Acts of gratitude are another form of expression. Unexpected gift-giving, non-monetary gifts or acts of service are other ways to show your care and thankfulness in addition to verbal or written expression.


Year-Round Gratitude.

And, by all means, don’t save your authentic gratitude for one month of the year just because it’s the theme of the month. Weave it into your everyday company culture. Not just because it will very likely lead to an overall increase in employee job satisfaction and retention, but because people really do matter. We can be grateful for that!

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