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Ungrateful Employees

 

by Glenn Shepard

November 24, 2014

Category:  Management

 

 

   

 

Morristown, TN

Dec 2

Paducah, KY

Dec 9

 

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One of the biggest complaints I hear from managers is how well their companies take care of their employees, and how it's not appreciated.

 

One of the biggest complaints I hear from employees is that they don't get paid enough. When I ask if they’re grateful for what they do get paid, most admit that they're not, but say they would be if they made more.

 

They’re wrong.

 

Being grateful is not a result of how much you make, it’s a choice.

 

People aren’t as grateful today as they were in our grandparents' day. People today think they deserve to make more money just because they want it, even when they haven’t done anything to earn it.

 

It then becomes a vicious cycle.

 

They’re not grateful for what they make because they think they should be making more.

 

They then start to resent their job and don’t give 100%. Because their performance is mediocre, they get passed up for raises and promotions, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

The good news is that this cycle can be reversed. Just as whining is contagious, so is gratitude. People are followers, and you as a manager can use that principle of human nature to prime the pump.

 

If you have ungrateful employees, send out a survey in recognition of Thanksgiving and ask:

 

 

1. What do you appreciate most about the company?

 

2. What do you appreciate least about the company?

 

3. What do you appreciate most about the people you work with?

 

4. What do you appreciate least about the people you work with?

 

5. What do you appreciate most about your job?

 

6. What do you appreciate least about your job?

 

 

Have them answer anonymously so that there's no fear of retaliation. Then choose the best responses and share them with everyone.

 

While your ungrateful employees probably wouldn't believe it if you told them, the path to a better job starts with having and outwardly expressing gratitude for the one they already have – even if it’s not what they want to be doing or doesn’t pay what they want to make.

 

The more grateful people are for something, the more they'll start to value it. The more people value their job, the better they’ll be at it. And the better people get at doing whatever they do, the sooner they’ll earn a raise.

 

From the stock clerk at Radio Shack that became a store manager in less than two years, to the single Mom that went from flipping hamburgers at Wendy’s to becoming a district manager, I’ve personally seen it happen more times than I can count.

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving from Nashville, Tennessee.

 

 

Glenn Shepard

 

 

 

P.S.  It's no secret that these questions are frontloaded, and that's okay. People are quick to complain when they don't like their situation, but not so quick to express gratitude when they have nothing to complain about.

 

 

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