Fostering employee engagement through one simple habit: gratitude
Published Feb 12 2024 08:00 AM 1,104 Views
Brass Contributor

In this guest blog post, Una Japundza, Chief Revenue Officer for HeyTaco, explains the importance of championing an ongoing culture of workplace recognition and thanks.


In our fast-paced, digitally connected world, the irony of feeling more isolated despite constant connectivity is a growing concern. This phenomenon extends into the workplace, with a significant number of employees reporting feelings of isolation and disengagement. In this context, a simple yet powerful solution has emerged: gratitude.


Isolation and employee disengagement are more prevalent than ever
Ernst & Young's 2022 study highlights that a staggering 82 percent of employees feel isolated at work. Gallup's survey further emphasizes this disheartening reality: Only 32 percent of employees are actively engaged, with 18 percent actively disengaged. Actively disengaged employees, as defined by Gallup, are disgruntled and disloyal because of unmet workplace needs. Surprisingly, one of these unmet needs, according to survey participants, is the sense of being cared for at work.


Do your employees feel cared for? 
Besides asking your employees one-on-one or via surveys whether they feel cared for, these are simple questions you can ask yourself to find out the answer:

  1. Are people saying thank you to each other, publicly, on a regular cadence?
  2. Are people engaging in conversations about non-work topics in your meetings and Microsoft Teams channels?

If you answer any of those questions with a “no,” you might be running the risk of your employees becoming disengaged. Topics like these don’t have an easy fix, but there’s a solution you can try today.


Gratitude can serve as a catalyst for engagement in the workplace
Enter gratitude — an age-old practice that has gained newfound relevance. Beyond its individual benefits, expressing gratitude to others, known as relational gratitude, has been identified as a core aspect that positively impacts relationships. The act of showing appreciation not only uplifts the giver but also strengthens the bond between individuals. This concept sets the stage for a transformation in workplace dynamics. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, employees who feel appreciated and valued say they are “motivated to do their best work and 88 percent report feeling engaged.”


People having great fun in the workplace.jpg


Contrary to the assumption that increased connectivity equates to improved relationships and engagement amongst teams, the quality of interactions emerges as a crucial factor. In response, cultivating a culture of gratitude becomes essential. While many are familiar with the personal benefits of practicing gratitude, its potential to foster a positive work environment remains underutilized.


To address the challenge of employee disengagement and foster a sense of connection, companies can take proactive steps to start building a habit of gratitude. Creating a dedicated channel within collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams serves as an excellent starting point. This channel can become a space for team members to express appreciation, fostering a sense of camaraderie.


HeyTaco helps deepen gratitude by going further than just sending a thank-you
To elevate gratitude from a sporadic practice to a habit, integrating tools like the HeyTaco app for Teams, available here in Microsoft AppSource, proves effective. The HeyTaco app allows employees to share gratitude messages with a distinctive taco emoji, adding a playful element to the expression of thanks. Moreover, HeyTaco facilitates tracking, measurement, and even custom rewards for consistent expressions of gratitude.


Upon integrating HeyTaco into the workplace, employees can incorporate gratitude into their daily interactions. The app's functionality extends beyond a simple thank-you message, providing a tangible way to quantify and acknowledge expressions of appreciation. Messages adorned with the taco emoji are not just private exchanges; they are shared in a channel made visible to employees and managers alike. This transparency creates a positive ripple effect, influencing not only the sender and receiver but also bystanders who witness the expressions of gratitude.


With more than eight years of existence, HeyTaco has made significant contributions to teams worldwide, aiding them in building and sustaining a culture of gratitude. The platform's longevity underscores the enduring need for gratitude in the workplace. Cultivating a gratitude culture is an ongoing journey, and HeyTaco provides the tools to embark on this transformative path.


Connecting gratitude to employee engagement
As the workplace transforms into a hub of positivity through gratitude, the impact on employee engagement becomes evident. When employees feel appreciated and connected, their engagement levels rise. Gratitude acts as a bonding agent, fostering a sense of belonging and loyalty among team members.


Addressing the prevalent issues of isolation and disengagement requires a strategic approach, and cultivating a culture of gratitude proves to be an effective solution. Integrating tools such as HeyTaco not only adds a fun element to expressing thanks but also provides a structured way to make gratitude a daily habit.


So, why wait? Start your journey toward a more engaged and connected workplace — one taco at a time. To get started, download the app to your Teams and watch the gratitude flow.

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‎Feb 08 2024 11:55 AM
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