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5 min

5 min

12 Employee Survey Questions to Ask Your Team

12 Employee Survey Questions to Ask Your Team 12 Employee Survey Questions to Ask Your Team

Why effective communication, collecting employee feedback, and asking your team the right questions can spark meaningful change.

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The mental and emotional well-being of employees is more crucial than ever. An organization's success is often linked directly to the happiness and engagement of its workforce. The correlation is simple: when engagement rises, so does performance.  

A challenge organizations often face is how to identify and address what’s causing hidden disengagement among employees who are physically present but mentally checked out.

Let’s explore the importance of communication, collecting employee feedback and asking your employees the right questions that contribute to meaningful change.  

The importance of communication in an organization

Effective communication is the backbone of any successful organization. It ensures that all employees are aligned with the company's goals, understand their roles, and feel valued and heard. When information flows seamlessly across all levels of an organization, it creates a sense of transparency and trust.

Key benefits of strong communication:

  • Clarity and alignment: employees understand their tasks and the company's vision.
  • Trust building: transparent communication fosters trust between management and teams.  
  • Problem-solving: open lines of communication help in addressing issues promptly.
  • Employee engagement: engaged employees are more productive and motivated.

A practical way to gauge the effectiveness of communication within your organization is by simply asking employees for their feedback through targeted questions. Ensuring your organization has regular feedback loops between your teams is essential.  

The power of employee feedback

Employee feedback is a goldmine of insights that can drive organizational improvement. When employees feel that their opinions are valued, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to their work. Feedback mechanisms, such as pulse survey tools, provide a structured way for employees to voice their thoughts and contribute to your company's growth.

Benefits of employee feedback:

  • Improvement and innovation: fresh ideas and perspectives can lead to innovation.
  • Employee satisfaction: employees feel heard and valued, leading to higher job satisfaction.
  • Retention: addressing feedback can help reduce turnover rates.
  • Performance improvement: constructive feedback helps in personal and professional development.

Encouraging regular feedback and acting on it demonstrates that your organization cares about its employees' opinions and is committed to continuous improvement.

How pulse surveys lead to meaningful change in an organization

Pulse surveys are short, frequent surveys that provide a quick snapshot of employee sentiment and well-being. They are an excellent tool for measuring the health of your organization and identifying areas for improvement. Unlike annual surveys, pulse surveys are designed to be quick and easy to complete, ensuring higher response rates and more accurate data.

Advantages of pulse surveys:

  • Timely feedback: get real-time insights into employee morale and issues.
  • Actionable data: frequent data points allow for quick adjustments and improvements.
  • Engagement tracking: monitor engagement levels regularly and identify trends.
  • Continuous improvement: foster a culture of ongoing feedback and development.

By regularly checking in with employees through pulse surveys, organizations can make data-driven decisions that lead to meaningful change and improvement in workplace culture.

12 employee survey questions to ask your team

To gather valuable insights from your employees, it's essential to ask the right questions. Here are 12 essential questions that can help you measure various aspects of your workplace environment:

Questions for Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS):

  1. How likely are you to recommend our organization as a workplace to your friends and family?
  1. What can we do better as an organization?

Questions for workplace communication:

  1. Is important information effectively communicated across the company?
  1. How satisfied are you with the clarity of communication from your immediate supervisor?
  1. Are you clear on the goals and objectives of the organization?

Questions for manager relationships:

  1. How satisfied are you with the frequency of one-on-one meetings with your manager to discuss your work and development?
  1. Do you feel comfortable discussing challenges or concerns with your manager?
  1. Do you agree that your manager gives you opportunities to grow and develop?

Questions for employee recognition:

  1. Do you receive meaningful recognition for doing good work?
  1. How satisfied are you with your team’s recognition of your contributions?  

Questions for employee wellness:

  1. Do you sometimes feel worn out at the end of your workday?
  1. Do you feel overwhelmed by the amount of work you are assigned?

Remember, it’s important to keep your surveys short and simple. If surveys become too lengthy, they become a burden and too time-consuming for employees.  

Best practice: pick one goal or area for improvement and dedicate a pulse survey to it. Ask clear and concise questions, collect the data and communicate the next steps your organization is going to take.  

Be transparent with your employees

Prioritizing employee well-being means making communication and feedback integral parts of your organizational culture. If employees are going to dedicate time to provide their feedback, then your organization must dedicate time to follow up with them.  

Sometimes the data doesn’t present the best news and that’s okay. What’s important is your employees have actively communicated their needs and concerns, and gathering feedback from your teams and acting on it is a crucial step in creating a thriving workplace.  

When leaders openly share information about company challenges and decisions, it builds inclusion and respect. This openness excels employee engagement and encourages a culture of honesty and accountability. By being transparent, organizations strengthen relationships and ensure everyone is aligned and working towards a common objective.  


5 min

5 min

How to Prioritize Employee Well-being and Mental Health in the Workplace

How to Prioritize Employee Well-being and Mental Health in the Workplace How to Prioritize Employee Well-being and Mental Health in the Workplace

Discover actionable steps to promote mental health and prioritize employee well-being in your organization.

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We’ve all heard this line before: “Leave your personal problems at the door.”  

Today, people are going from stressful personal lives to stressful work lives with no time or space to heal in between.  We're expected to compartmentalize, go to work, and perform our best in an environment that isn't always conducive to success.

The importance of employee well-being has transcended from a nice-to-have to a must-have. With the increasing blur between work and personal life, employers and HR leaders are called to prioritize their team’s mental, emotional, and physical health.

Employers and HR leaders, take note: prioritizing the mental and emotional health of your teams is not just an ethical practice—it's a strategic one.

What is employee well-being?

We often assume it’s only our personal lives that cause stress, but it’s also what’s happening at work that’s causing tremendous mental health issues globally. Common headlines today are “Anxiety Is Now the Top Mental Health Issue in the Workplace” or “Employee Stress is at a Record High.”  

Employee well-being is a holistic term that includes physical, mental, financial and emotional health, directly influenced by workplace conditions, work-life balance, and organizational culture. It’s about ensuring that employees are not only free from physical ailments but are also genuinely satisfied and mentally stimulated by their work.

Employee well-being is more than just taking care of your employees for the eight hours a day you employ them. There are plenty of initiatives organizations can integrate into their employee well-being strategy that will benefit employees outside of their work:  

  • Offering flexibility to work when and where they’re comfortable  
  • Providing ample resources, accessible to everyone  
  • Having a safe space to be their authentic selves  
  • Employing empathetic leaders who will support them  

The more organizations offer resources that will support their employees in their personal lives, the more likely they’re willing to show up and do their jobs well.  

What is an employee well-being strategy?

Simply put, an employee well-being strategy is an organization's commitment to happier and healthier employees. An employee well-being strategy should include:  

  • A comprehensive plan to promote the health and happiness of its employees.  
  • Physical health initiatives, mental health support, emotional well-being programs, and social connectivity opportunities.  
  • A goal to enhance overall quality of life, boost engagement, and increase employee productivity.  
  • A proactive strategy to designing work environments, job roles, and employee benefits that support the ongoing health and happiness of employees.

By integrating an employee well-being strategy, companies show a commitment to the well-being of their workforce and offer a pledge to support the overall well-being of their teams.  

Ask your employees what they need

Business decisions are usually made from the top-down, but employee well-being should be the opposite. It needs to be a bottom-up approach – it doesn’t benefit anyone if executives are making well-being decisions based on what they think their employees need. Communication and transparency are crucial when building an employee well-being strategy. Utilize pulse survey tools to gather insights on what your employees are seeking to support their overall well-being.

The importance of employee well-being and culture

A focus on employee well-being contributes significantly to a positive workplace culture. It creates an environment that nurtures employee engagement, enhances loyalty, and promotes a sense of belonging. Employees in well-being-centric workplaces are more likely to be innovative, motivated, and committed to their organization’s goals.

Boosting productivity through employee well-being

Workplaces that successfully manage employee stress and prevent burnout benefit from lower absenteeism and turnover and see improvements in performance and efficiency. Implementing robust well-being programs can lead to substantial productivity gains.

Facts about mental health in the workplace

Many studies have revealed staggering facts about the rapidly increasing mental health issues in the workplace. Global events like the pandemic, persistent high inflation, economic downturns, mass lay-offs, war and so much more have contributed tremendously to our overall stress and anxiety:

Todd Katz, Executive Vice President at Metlife explains that we are currently living in a complex macro environment and permacrisis state:  

“Against the backdrop of a permacrisis, this year’s study underscores the urgent need for employers to acknowledge the modern challenges that impact their workforce and take steps,” - Todd Katz, Executive Vice President at Metlife  

Supporting the mental health of employees

According to Forbes, 84% of employees in a survey reported that their workplace had a negative impact on their mental health. Offering mental health support for employees doesn’t need to be complex, and offering the fundamental basics can go a long way. Here are some practical approaches that work:  

  1. Leading by example: management should champion well-being initiatives by participating themselves. When leadership shows vulnerability and commitment to health, it sets a powerful precedent.
  1. Creating a stigma-free environment: where mental health discussions are normalized. This can be achieved through regular mental health awareness sessions that educate employees and managers alike on recognizing signs of mental health issues and the importance of seeking help.
  1. Providing access to mental health resources: such as Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), counseling services, and stress management workshops can make a significant difference. There are plenty of partners like BetterHelp and Calm that offer corporate well-being programs and mental health benefits for employees.  
  1. Promoting work-life balance: build policies that encourage flexible working hours, various communication options, and sufficient time off to help employees manage stress and prevent burnout.
  1. Implementing a supportive feedback culture: this should include regular check-ins by managers who understand how to support mental health and can foster trust and openness in their teams. These check-ins can help managers catch early signs of stress or burnout, allowing for timely intervention before issues escalate.

How Kudos is supporting its employees

Every year Kudos does an analysis on what benefits employees are accessing the most, and what they are allocating their health and personal spending accounts to. In 2023, mental health services were high on the list, so Kudos decided to add more money to that benefit allotment so employees could use their HSAs and PSAs on other resources. Kudos analyzed insights from its employees, followed through with the data, and made an impactful decision that truly benefited its employees.  

Mental Health Awareness Month

Our workplaces are not just stages for professional endeavors, they’re also environments where we spend a significant portion of our lives. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and more organizations are pledging to elevate employee well-being to a top-tier business priority. It is here that we must forge a culture of compassion, understanding, and support.  

By embedding well-being into the core of our business strategies, we not only see enhancements in productivity and engagement but also cultivate a workplace that stands as a beacon of health and happiness for everyone. Employee well-being is not an option, it’s a fundamental right and should be talked about, acted on and fought for so one day we can see headlines change to “Employee Happiness is at a Record High”.

For mental health support in the U.S. call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24-hour crisis center, or text MHA to 741741 at the Crisis Text Line.

For mental health support in Canada call 1-888-668-6810 or text WELLNESS to 686868 for youth or call 1-866-585-0445 or text WELLNESS to 741741 for adults.


5 min

6 min

10 Ways to Advocate for Yourself in the Workplace

10 Ways to Advocate for Yourself in the Workplace  10 Ways to Advocate for Yourself in the Workplace

Employee well-being, employee advocacy and how to help your organization understand what you’re struggling with and what you need to succeed.

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There’s a superpower that’s often overlooked but incredibly potent—employee advocacy.  

Imagine every employee turning into their company’s number one fan, not because they have to, but because they genuinely love their job and believe in their company’s mission.  

That’s employee advocacy in a nutshell. It’s about employees voluntarily singing their company’s praises to the world, be it through word of mouth, social media, or any platform they prefer. Being an employee advocate means carrying a spark of genuine enthusiasm for your workplace, and being a walking billboard for your company's values, culture, and mission. The sense of belonging and purpose it takes to create employee advocates is crucial in today’s job market. Companies need to focus on attracting not just customers but also top talent who want to be part of what you’re creating.

That said, it’s important to recognize that before employees can become advocates for their organization, they first need to become advocates for themselves.  

Employee well-being directly impacts employee advocacy

To excel in your role and navigate your career path as you envision, having the right tools and support is non-negotiable. We're all on a quest to meet our current job requirements while also paving the way towards our future ambitions. Often, this journey requires individuals to champion their own professional development.

The importance of self-advocacy is a frequent topic in discussions around diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI), employee engagement, career advancement, and employee well-being. Too often organizations think employee well-being can be determined holistically across the entire organization, but that’s not enough. Employee well-being should also focus on employees’ individual needs and communication between managers and employees.  

Utilizing the right tools to support employee well-being

To truly support employee well-being, companies need to harness the power of the right tools. Especially today, with so many organizations supporting employees working remotely, it’s crucial for organizations to leverage the right systems to support employee wellness.  

Employee recognition software

Recognition software, like Kudos, plays a pivotal role, offering a platform for acknowledging and celebrating employees' contributions in real-time, ensuring employees feel valued and appreciated, no matter where they work from.  

Pulse surveys to collect valuable feedback

Equally important are pulse surveys, which provide a safe, anonymous avenue for employees to share their feedback and feelings. This not only helps in gathering valuable insights into the collective and individual employee experience but also in identifying areas needing attention or improvement.  

The right communication tools

Instilling robust communication tools are essential, especially in the age of remote and hybrid work . These tools ensure that every employee, regardless of their location, feels connected, included, and can communicate their needs.  

Utilizing the right technologies forms a support system that enables organizations to nurture a workplace that prioritizes and actively promotes well-being at every level.

Every organization wants their employees to thrive – that's the foundation of an exceptional workplace culture – but they won’t know what their employees need unless employees know how to communicate their needs.  

This is a great resource to share with your team to start the conversation:

How to advocate for yourself in the workplace

Helping your organization understand what you’re struggling with and what you need to succeed benefits everyone involved. Being an employee advocate for yourself, or self-advocating, means championing your own cause, standing up for your needs and goals, and ensuring you’re heard, valued, and understood. Navigating the workplace not just as a participant but as an active player in your own career journey.

Keep in mind these questions when starting your self-advocacy journey:  

  • What do you like most about your current role?
  • What do you like the least about your current role?
  • What frequent challenges do you experience in your role or in your team?
  • Do you feel your work is valued by your manager?
  • Do you feel your work contributes value to your organization?
  • Do you feel appreciated?  
  • How is this current role contributing to your career growth?

Answering these questions could reveal areas in your role that you’re very happy with, but also areas that may need more attention. Communicating your needs to your manager can be a daunting task, but there are strategies you can use to help advocate for yourself:

1. Know your value: Recognize what you bring to the table. Reflect on your skills, achievements, and the unique perspective you offer. This isn’t about boasting but about understanding your worth so you can articulate it confidently to others.  

Tip: Tie your accomplishments and the work you do to your organization’s goals and how your work is directly contributing to the company’s success.

2. Communicate clearly and constructively: Whether it’s asking for feedback, voicing concerns, or sharing ideas, the way you communicate can make all the difference. Aim for clarity, be open to dialogue, and always approach conversations with a constructive mindset. Remember, it’s not just what you say, but how you say it.

3. Set and share your goals: Know where you want to go in your career and don’t keep it a secret. Share your aspirations with your manager and seek their guidance on how to get there. This shows initiative and helps align your growth with the company’s goals.

Tip: It doesn’t always have to be your direct manager who guides you through your career growth. If there’s someone else on your team or organization that you want to learn from, or a mentor that could help guide you, make sure to communicate that.

4. Seek feedback—and act on It: Feedback is a gift, even when it’s tough to hear. Regularly seek out constructive feedback and use it as a roadmap for your personal and professional development. Showing that you can listen, learn, and adapt is a powerful form of self-advocacy.

Tip: Ensure you understand what your manager expects from you in your role, and if you don’t know what the expectations are, have a conversation about it so you and your manager are aligned.

5. Build your network: Advocacy is as much about relationships as it is about actions. Cultivate a network of mentors, peers, and advocates within your organization, and outside your organization, who can support you, offer advice, and champion your cause alongside you.

6. Celebrate your wins: Don’t be shy about sharing your successes. Celebrating your achievements isn’t bragging; it’s an important part of making your contributions visible and reinforcing your value to the team.

7. Ask and negotiate for what you need: Whether it’s a raise, resources for a project, or more flexible working conditions, don’t be afraid to ask for what you need to be successful. Prepare your case, anticipate questions, and remember that negotiation is a conversation, not a confrontation.

8. Embrace learning and development opportunities: Actively seek out and engage in learning opportunities, whether they are formal training programs, workshops, or online courses related to your field. Showing a commitment to your own growth not only enhances your skills but also demonstrates your initiative and drive to your managers. Don't hesitate to share your learning goals with your supervisor and discuss how they align with the organization's objectives.

9. Document your achievements: Keep a detailed record of your accomplishments, positive feedback from colleagues or clients, and any quantifiable results you've achieved. This documentation can be invaluable during performance reviews, salary negotiations, or when advocating for a promotion. It provides concrete evidence of your contributions and the value you bring to the team and the organization.

10. Advocate for others: While self-advocacy is crucial, advocating for your colleagues is just as important. Recognizing the achievements of others, offering support during challenging times, or championing their ideas and contributions can strengthen your relationships and build a network of mutual support.  

Being an advocate for yourself in the workplace isn’t about being the loudest voice in the room; it’s about being the clearest. Make sure your career path is not left to chance but is something you actively shape with intention, confidence, and a sense of partnership with your colleagues and managers.  

The journey to effective self-advocacy is ongoing. It’s filled with learning, adapting, and growing – embrace it with an open mind and doors will open. Incorporating these strategies can further empower you to effectively advocate for yourself and contribute to a positive, engaging, and supportive workplace.


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5 min

A Manager’s Guide to Employee Check-ins

A Manager’s Guide to Employee Check-ins  A Manager’s Guide to Employee Check-ins

A comprehensive checklist to help build stronger manager-employee relationships.

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National Stress Awareness Month, observed every April, is dedicated to raising awareness about stress, its effects on our mental and physical health, and how to manage it effectively. This observance is crucial, especially in the context of workplace culture and well-being.  

How stress impacts the workplace

Stress significantly impacts employees' health, productivity, and overall quality of life. Stress can lead to a range of health issues, including anxiety, depression, heart disease, and a weakened immune system, among others. It can also become costly for organizations if employees are taking leave or turning over, due to high levels of stress and burnout.  

To acknowledge Stress Awareness Month and better support your employees, workplaces should encourage managers and leaders to adopt better stress management techniques. By providing your managers with the right tools and resources for their teams, they can learn more about their people’s workloads, how to manage it and address sources of high stressors before it’s too late.  

What are employee check-ins?

Employee check-ins are regular, one-on-one meetings between a manager and an employee designed to discuss the employee's performance, challenges, workload, well-being, and any other work-related issues. Unlike traditional performance reviews, which are often formal and may occur annually, check-ins should be frequent, informal, and conversational.

The frequency and format of check-ins can vary depending on the organization's culture, the nature of the work, and the preferences of the manager and employee. However, the underlying goal is to create a supportive dialogue that promotes employee engagement, well-being, happiness and productivity.  

How to check-in with your employees

Regular check-ins with employees are a critical component of effective management, particularly when focusing on employee well-being and workload. These meetings provide a dedicated space for open, honest communication, allowing managers to understand the challenges their team members face and offer necessary support.  

Managers should ensure these conversations are consistent, focused, and tailored to individual needs, to build trust and demonstrate a genuine commitment to their team's well-being and professional growth.  

We’ve put together some best practices in a comprehensive checklist to help guide you through your employee check-ins:

Pre-Meeting Preparation

  1. Review Previous Meetings: Quickly go through notes from past meetings to track ongoing issues or progress.
  1. Gather Feedback: If applicable, collect feedback from colleagues who work closely with the employee to understand their current work dynamics.
  1. Set an Agenda: While focusing on mental health and workload, prepare to be flexible if the employee brings up other concerns.
  1. Create a Welcoming Atmosphere: Start with a casual conversation to make the employee feel comfortable.

Employee Mental Health Check-In

Here are some examples of questions about mental health you can ask during employee check-ins. It's essential to approach these discussions with empathy, recognizing the unique circumstances and needs of each employee.

  1. "How are you feeling lately, both inside and outside of work?"
  1. "Have there been any recent changes in your life affecting your well-being?"
  1. "What aspects of your job are currently causing you the most stress?"
  1. "How manageable do you find your current work-related stress?"
  1. "Do you feel supported by your team and the broader company?"
  1. "Are there additional supports or resources you feel could help you manage better?"
  1. "How are you finding the balance between work and personal time?"
  1. "Are there any challenges you're facing in maintaining a healthy work-life balance?"

Workload Assessment

Here are questions you can ask about your employee’s current workload:  

  1. "How do you feel about your current workload?"
  1. "Are there specific tasks or projects that feel overwhelming or unmanageable?"
  1. "Do you need help with prioritizing your tasks?"
  1. "Are there any deadlines that are causing concern?"
  1. "Do you have the resources and tools needed to effectively manage your workload?"
  1. "Is there any additional support from the team or myself that you need?"
  1. "How are you finding the tasks assigned to you? Are they aligned with your skills and interests?"
  1. "Is there any task you wish to delegate or share with a team member?"

Closing the Meeting

  1. Actionable Steps: Summarize the main points discussed, any actionable steps and timelines for follow-ups.  
  1. Open Door Policy: Reiterate your availability for support and encourage the employee to come forward anytime they need assistance or wish to discuss further issues.
  1. Schedule Next Meeting: Agree on a preferred day and time for check-ins to occur regularly.  

Improving manager-employee relationships

Strong manager-employee relationships built on mutual respect, trust, and open communication serve as the foundation for team cohesion, employee engagement, and overall job satisfaction. When managers and employees have a solid rapport, it leads to a more transparent exchange of feedback, allowing for constructive discussions on performance, expectations, and growth opportunities.  

How to measure manager-employee relationships

Organizations should conduct regular pulse surveys to assess the impact of initiatives like encouraging regular manager-employee check-ins. Understanding the feedback your employees provide can help reassess workloads, improve communication and working arrangements, and foster a supportive and inclusive environment.

Effective manager-employee relationships can significantly reduce workplace stress, enhance problem-solving capabilities, and facilitate easier navigation through organizational changes.  

Investing in these relationships not only boosts individual and team performance but also contributes to a more resilient and adaptable organization. By prioritizing the development of strong connections with their employees, managers can unlock the full potential of their teams, driving innovation and success.  


5 min

5 min

Boost Workplace Well-being with Gratitude

Boost Workplace Well-being with Gratitude Boost Workplace Well-being with Gratitude

Discover the importance of gratitude in the workplace and how it can benefit both employees and organizations as a whole.

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Did you know May is Mental Health Awareness Month? Nearly 1 in 5 Americans live with a mental illness, and now more than ever, it is crucial that we bring awareness and support to mental wellness by communicating openly with our teams about mental health.

We all have access to an essential tool that can impact mental health – gratitude.

Organizations worldwide are shifting to a culture that fosters gratitude and recognition – and for good reason. Organizations are experiencing the many benefits of a workforce that feels more appreciated, respected, and valued. Positive psychology research has proven time and time again that gratitude creates a more productive, positive, and engaged workforce. 

Gratitude has the ability to fuel an incredible culture and has so many benefits to an organization. Telling someone they are appreciated is important of course, but as leaders, it is important to practice what you preach and share your gratitude in meaningful, intentional ways. When shared openly and often, gratitude can be a massive needle mover in creating a stronger culture and benefiting an organization. 

How Gratitude Benefits Your Organization

Gratitude yields so many benefits not only to employees but to the organizational success as a whole. Companies that prioritize gratitude get to reap the reward of the practice. Employees that rate themselves as happier have been found to be 13% more productive than the average employee after working the same amount of hours. It was also found that employees who do not feel valued at their workplace are more likely to seek other employment opportunities. This means that the time, money, and energy you have spent training employees is at risk if they don’t feel valued! A stronger culture also promotes the overall brand of the business as a whole, leading to a stronger talent pool, enhancing the company’s reputation as an employer, and driving business results. 

How Gratitude Benefits Your Employees

There are benefits to the employees on a personal level as well when gratitude is present at work. Improved well-being at work has been shown to improve the mental health of employees which leads to reduced stress, anxiety, and depression. Studies have also shown that employees who feel appreciated are more likely to be more motivated within their roles and work harder to achieve goals within their roles.

Employees that feel the effects of gratitude are also more likely to have strengthened relationships with those around them such as their colleagues or company leadership. Gratitude brings people together and strengthens employee bonds which creates a stronger culture. 

Employees are also more likely to be engaged in the workplace when gratitude and appreciation are expressed. Gratitude is a key driver to keeping employees engaged and connected to their work. Gratitude is also often a two-way street, and when an employee feels appreciated, they are more likely to pay it forward and share their gratitude in return through actions, emotions, or tenure. This creates a wonderfully positive cycle of appreciation. 

Sharing Gratitude At Work

As an HR leader, there are many ways you can express gratitude to employees within an organization - even a simple thank you can go a long way in fostering a culture of positivity. The former CEO of Campbell Soup sent over 30,000 handwritten thank-you notes to his employees and staff during his tenure with the company! This is such a personal and meaningful thing to do because he used his own precious time to go above and beyond in showing others that they are seen and valued not only by the company but by him personally. 

When you lead by example and promote gratitude, you can create a culture where gratitude and appreciation are valued, and positive actions and behaviors are encouraged and rewarded. This can lead to a more positive and productive workplace where employees feel motivated, engaged, and committed to the success of the company. You have the ability to foster a culture of gratitude in the workplace - and will get to reap the reward of success when gratitude is felt! 

6 Ways to Show Your Gratitude 

If you are looking for a creative way to share more gratitude and create a stronger work culture, here are 6 creative ways to show your gratitude to your team and create positive feedback loops and boost engagement.  

  1. Thank You: a simple thank you is so powerful and can go a long way in fostering a culture of positivity. It lets your employees know they are seen and recognized for their efforts.
  2. Gratitude Email Train: start an email thread with a gratitude note to an employee and encourage them to pay it forward to another employee and keep a gratitude email train going.
  3. Gratitude Gifts: recognize your employee's professional efforts by gifting them something to cultivate gratitude within their personal lives, such as a gratitude journal. Intentional gifts go a long way in showing you care and creating a meaningful memory for the receiver. 
  4. Gratitude Newsletter: encourage employees to nominate one another for a monthly gratitude newsletter where they can share an appreciation for their teammates. This is a great way to publicly express appreciation and get others involved. 
  5. Milestone Celebrations: express your gratitude to your employees by recognizing important milestones within the company, such as an employee anniversary and let them know how appreciated their efforts have been.
  6. Team Gratitude Activity: try a virtual or in-person gratitude meditation video that allows your employees to take time to prioritize their mental health. This is a great way to practice what you preach and ensure everyone who participates experiences the positive benefits of gratitude.

Show Your Gratitude with Kudos 

Kudos is a platform that allows you to share your gratitude and appreciation for all the hard work your employees do. Celebrate your workforce with::

  • Employee Milestones: Celebrate tenure and show your appreciation for workplace milestones to celebrate your people. Celebrating the little things are what adds up to be the big things! 
  • Peer-to-Peer Recognition: A great culture is built on a foundation of gratitude. Strengthen the bond of inner workplace relationships and encourage gratitude to be expressed between employees rather than only coming from the top down.
  • Sensational Rewards: Lead by example with recognition and rewards to create a memorable moment of gratitude for your team members!

Showing gratitude in the workplace is truly a win-win for both employees and the overall success of the organization. Use it to increase productivity and performance and create a workplace of well-being and connection.


5 min

7 min

Mental Health in the Workplace: What HR Leaders Can Do

Mental Health in the Workplace: What HR Leaders Can Do  Mental Health in the Workplace: What HR Leaders Can Do

87% of HR leaders say employee mental health is a serious risk to their business. Here’s how you can prioritize mental health in the workplace in 2023.

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Mental health related illnesses cost the global economy one trillion US dollars every year. If you still don’t think mental health affects your business – think again.  

Mental health is health. And it’s time we took it seriously,” says Avni Jain, M. Ed, Registered Psychotherapist and Workplace Mental Health Consultant. A South Asian woman who immigrated from the UK to Canada, Avni entered the mental health field to deepen her understanding of herself, and now has a decade of experience helping organizations develop authentic and sustainable mental health solutions.

This field of work has been really interesting. I'm always curious about how HR leaders are being proactive about workplace mental health. Burnout is on the rise, and everyone manages it differently. I work with many people who often present well on the outside but tend to be struggling in overdrive on the inside,” says Avni.  

Experiencing many unhealthy workplace cultures and environments firsthand led her to play an integral role in developing and implementing a hospital wide mental health program, COPEline, for Canada’s leading mental health hospital: The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). You can find research-informed workplace recommendations in CAMH’s Workplace Mental Health Playbook for Business Leaders.  

We sat down with Avni to discuss her thoughts on mental health in the workplace and what HR leaders can do to support their employees.  

How does workplace mental health contribute to culture?

A workplace culture is created by its people. If your people aren't doing well, your culture will be directly impacted. Supporting your employees better will ultimately trickle down and have tremendous impact on your business.  

The challenging part is making workplace mental health more sustainable. Bringing back office pizzas every Friday is not going to change your culture. Leaders need to think more strategically about evaluating employee struggles and, instead of putting a band-aid over it, invest in solutions that will help sustain culture.  

Thinking more sustainably is “how can we make our employees thrive?” versus “what can I do to support this right now?”. Even if your culture is doing great, it’s always important to think long-term when it comes to improving culture. Organizations that manage workplace mental health well are constantly reflecting on their practices and evaluating what is supportive and what’s not. I think the pandemic is proof of that – no one thought working from home would be sustainable, and we discovered it can actually be better than going into an office every day for many employees.

Should HR leaders be embracing people analytics in 2023?

YES. If we're creating solutions to a problem our employees are struggling with, why wouldn't we go directly to the source? Giving your employees autonomy to voice their feedback – whether it be through engagement surveys or eNPS – is key. As much as data is so important, so is action. Many organizations collect, collect, collect, but then don’t follow through or know what to do with the data. Your employees are telling you what they need, they’re giving you the answer, but for them to feel heard, employers need to hold themselves accountable to implementing actionable steps.  

What are some signs of mental health struggles leaders should look out for and how can they provide support?

Absenteeism. Are your employees showing up, and if so, are they engaged? Do they seem present at work, or more withdrawn?  

As a leader, or direct manager, it’s important to know these signs and ask yourself how well you know your team. Check in with your employees regularly to ensure their needs are being met. We have entire lives outside of work, and our personal lives play a huge role in how we perform at work. Encourage your employees to take time off when they need it – providing paid personal time, or unlimited sick days ensures your employees will actually take the time to rest, instead of worrying about limited time off.  

This all contributes to your workplace culture – are your employees feeling guilty or worried because there’s no one to cover or assist with the workload? As a leader, you need to be hyperaware of this and know when to lessen the workload or bring in more support.  

Organizations tend to offer mental health solutions outside of their organization. How do we bring mental health support inside an organization?

Leaders are the key agents of change, and they need to practice what they preach. A workplace culture that talks about mental health, but then has leaders who are not reinforcing the resources available doesn’t help reduce the stigma.

People are more likely to reach out for support if it's encouraged and demonstrated throughout all levels of the organization. This includes things like flexibility – encouraging employee wellbeing is pointless if employees aren’t given the flexibility to attend doctor’s appointments or manage their personal responsibilities.  

Employees have full lives outside of work, and companies that support their team's needs with compassion and flexibility are more likely to create a positive and healthy work environment. Effective leadership and compassion go hand in hand. Compassionate leadership is consistent communication, regular check-ins, transparency, and keeping those practices consistent beyond periods of change.

How can HR Leaders win over their executive team when pitching health and wellness initiatives?

Mental health issues are the leading cause of long-term disability claims in Canada. The research is there, and the numbers don’t lie. HR teams need to remember they have the data: retention rates, absenteeism, turnover, disability claims – all of which cost the business a lot of money. Leverage that data to drive forward better strategies.  

Investing in mental health training for leaders can be incredibly effective. Are your leaders building teams that foster relationships and team building? Have they built teams that support a culture of work-life balance? Train your managers in these areas so they can lead by example and are better equipped to respond to their team’s needs. You put the numbers together plus some good research, and you have the formula for a pitch that will get results.

How can HR leaders prioritize mental health in 2023?

Employees thrive when their employers care – they can show up to work as their whole authentic selves because they know they’re valued and supported. With that in mind, developing a mental health strategy that’s sustainable, thoughtful, intentional and tailored to your team’s unique needs doesn't need to cost a lot. It doesn’t need to be at a large scale either, you can take small steps to get to the bigger picture if you stay committed to it.  

Reach out to people who are fostering the best workplace cultures, continue to share information, and understand what’s working and what isn’t. Fundamental basics like expressing empathy and kindness and actively listening to your employees can go a long way. There’s plenty of resources out there to get you started, but in the meantime – just be human.  

Thank you, Avni for your time and insights.

How Kudos Can Help

Better culture starts with Kudos – our platform offers resources that can help employee wellbeing, and contribute to a healthier workplace culture:  

  • Peer-to-Peer Recognition: our brains are wired to crave recognition. When we receive appreciation, our brains release serotonin and dopamine which are the crucial neurotransmitters that make us feel good. Kudos makes it easy to send meaningful recognition to anyone, so all great work can be celebrated.  
  • Sentiment Surveys: it’s important to have a place where employees can submit anonymous feedback on how they’re feeling. Kudos' Sentiment Survey provides valuable insights about employee wellbeing in your workplace quickly, efficiently, and in one place, allowing you to assess the overall employee sentiment in your organization currently and over time.
  • People Analytics: Kudos’ robust People Analytics can help uncover key indicators that are impacting your culture, so you can assess areas that need improvement before it’s too late.  

Don’t wait for your culture to crash – book a demo today to get started with Kudos.  

For mental health support in the U.S. call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24-hour crisis center, or text MHA to 741741 at the Crisis Text Line.

For mental health support in Canada call 1-888-668-6810 or text WELLNESS to 686868 for youth or call 1-866-585-0445 or text WELLNESS to 741741 for adults.  

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