Going Beyond "thank You" In The Workplace

23rd May 2022
Going Beyond Thank You in the Workplace

Now more than ever companies are aware they need to make a big effort to ensure they support and retain their good people.  So, a simple “Thank You” is just not cutting it in terms of support and staff retention.

Why do so many corporations wait until an exit interview to listen to an employee’s reasons for leaving?  The chances are it’s because they have found a more exciting opportunity that will fulfil their expectations and career aspirations, however there’s the big “what if” – what if it’s because they weren’t happy?  They found the atmosphere toxic or didn’t feel valued or supported.  The what if soon becomes, why didn’t we know sooner, why didn’t we do something about it, why did we lose such a great member of the team?

A mistake many companies make is to assume that just because someone hasn’t come forward with concerns it doesn’t mean all is well and that they are happy in their day-to-day tasks.

The pandemic has certainly seen people re-evaluate their priorities in life and work and the landscape as we knew it may have changed forever.  Companies who don’t reassess their employee engagement and support programmes are risking the chance of losing strong employees who are no longer satisfied with their support system at work.



With many team members still working remotely or even slowly moving back to office working, ask yourself when the last time was, I REALLY checked in on individual team members?  Have I really got a grasp on how they are feeling, the standard of work they are producing and whether they enjoy working for the company under all the recent changes?  If your staff are feeling ignored and undervalued, then you are at risk of them hiding their frustrations and built-up resentment.  Resulting with exiting the company, taking their knowledge and experience, client relationships and their contribution to the company’s culture with them.


It’s a good idea if you are setting up a meeting to set the context first and ensure your employee is fully aware it’s not a performance review, it’s very much a welfare chat and that you are interested in them and how they are feeling within the workplace.  It’s about talking to them about how best you as their boss and senior representative of the company can support them.  As an employee knowing a manager has set time aside to speak to them on a more personal level is a great indication that fundamentally they matter!


  • What aspect of your current role are you enjoying?
  • What is your biggest challenge in terms of personal targets?
  • Do you feel as a company we are giving you the knowledge and tools to learn and grow?
  • How can I as your boss support you more, and the company ensure you feel valued?
  • Since all the recent changes and challenges for the workforce how is your work life balance?
  • What part of your role do you least enjoy?
  • What are your personal aspirations within the company, and do you feel you get enough direction to help you achieve them?
  • How do you feel we could improve in general with our communication to help with your personal development and overall wellbeing?


As a Manager/HR Manager grievances or complaints are a normal part of life at some stage in your career, regardless of how well you run your team or how well organised a company is.  It is knowing how to handle these situations well that will benefit you and ensure the happiness and productivity of your team/workforce.

Some types of employee grievances could be:

  • Feeling undervalued and over worked
  • Issues with colleagues e.g., harassment, discrimination, bullying
  • Issues with managers e.g., inconsistency in team management
  • Salary discrepancies
  • Lack of progression
  • Lack of training/supervision
  • Work environment conditions

Employee Complaint Best Practices

To handle employee complaints well, HR professionals should be aware that all employees need to be treated fairly and consistently. Here are some tips:

  • Be sure employees know how to submit complaints or get issues addressed.
  • Take all employee complaints seriously.
  • Don’t ignore seemingly frivolous complaints.
  • Be sure all managers and HR team members are well-versed in company policy.
  • Don’t hesitate to work with legal counsel when appropriate


Considering how long it can take to develop an incredible team of people, from interview stage, training, and progression plans, when it comes to achieving continuous success and growth the challenge is keeping employees motivated to retain the talent and succeed in the long term.

Do you feel as an organisation you spend enough time considering what motivates your team, individuals, and leaders?

Things to consider:

  1. Is there mutual respect and honesty within your team
  2. Do you show appreciation on a regular basis?
  3. Do you encourage a supportive and inclusive work environment?
  4. Are you consistent with your management approach?
  5. Are salaries and benefits fair
  6. Do you talk to your employees on a regular basis to see how they are?
  7. Does motivation start at the top and filter down?
  8. What is the overall workplace environment like, and could it be improved?



If you are reviewing your employment strategy and are keen to retain quality team members, then it really is time to ensure your staff are valued, motivated and keen to work for you.

Spending time reviewing what motivates people and considering the actions that need to be taken from a senior level are so important. The initiative to actively encourage employee motivation will go a long, long way to creating a “Best Place to Work” landscape.

Being approachable to employees is essential.  Listening to what your employees have to say must be a priority. Consistent interactions and conversations with employees are important to understand their expectations and grievances. Listening will help to create an environment that facilitates better productivity and contributes to improved employee morale.


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