What Is a Goodwill Gesture? 10 Ways To Reap Its Benefits


In this article, we examine gestures of goodwill in the workplace to showcase the benefits they can provide you and your employees with. We’ll also explain several methods for showing goodwill in your workplace. 

Key Facts

  • Goodwill gestures help you showcase appreciation and gratitude for your employees.

  • Showing goodwill can build positivity within your work environment and increase employee productivity.

  • Not every gesture will be effective for every team or employee. Finding the right one for each team member is key to reaping the benefits. 

What Is a Gesture of Goodwill?

A gesture of goodwill is a small token to show appreciation, say sorry or show gratitude towards a customer or employee. When it comes to workers, the token can be financial, like raising their pay or giving out gift cards. It can be as simple as recognising the employee’s efforts right away by sharing your appreciation with the team and others in the company.

The Top Benefits of Goodwill Gestures

Demonstrating goodwill towards your employees offers several benefits to your workplace. Some of those advantages include:

  • They Can Increase Trust. Goodwill gestures, particularly ones used to apologise, can help increase the trust between you and your workforce. It demonstrates your commitment to growth, learning, honesty and transparency between you and your employees.

  • Goodwill Gestures Encourage Employee Engagement. A reward for a job well done can increase employee engagement and help them feel more positive towards their workplace. This helps create a more positive work environment overall. 

  • They Can Boost Retention Rates. Increased engagement with the company means a decreased willingness to leave, reducing turnover and saving money on training new hires.

  • Goodwill Gestures Enhance Productivity. Gestures of goodwill help motivate employees to put 100% of their effort into their work. This could be due to the possibility of earning a reward, or it could be an overall method to increase motivation among your employees.

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10 Gestures of Goodwill for Your Employees

There are several methods of showing goodwill towards your workforce beyond pay and employee benefits. How effective one is can often vary from business to business or even from employee to employee. The below gestures can work, but it’s important to branch out when necessary and find the one or ones that work best for you and your team. 

1. Praise Hard Work and Achievements

Recognising an employee’s hard work is one of the simplest and most effective goodwill gestures. Most people dislike feeling like their work doesn’t impact the company; they want to know their efforts make a difference. 

If your team is in a stressful mindset for long enough, or if they go long stretches without feeling appreciated, they’ll start losing their motivation to work. That could mean they start missing deadlines or turning in lower-quality results that take more time and resources to fix. 

Praise helps to mitigate a build-up of stress by making employees feel appreciated. Making it clear exactly how your team’s efforts help the company often ensures they stay motivated throughout their time in the organisation.

2. Empower Employees With Flexibility

Micromanagement is a level of fine control over your team that implies a lack of faith in how they perform their jobs. This can create friction between managers and their employees. 

Additionally, it works against innovation because, even if the manager understands how the company says they should do a task, it doesn’t mean there aren’t better ways to do it. 

One of the best gestures of goodwill you can give an employee is to take a step back and let them figure out their own process for doing a task. 

This means taking a step back and allowing employees to set their own schedules and decide which methods of working are best for their productivity — as long as deadlines are met.

3. TOIL – Time off in Lieu

Time off in lieu (TOIL) refers to when an employee works above and beyond their expected schedule and accepts extra time off rather than overtime pay. 

Essentially, it’s giving your employees added vacation time on top of what they already have. 

Offering TOIL as an option is a goodwill gesture because it’s a desirable reward that also gives employees more flexibility in their schedules. 

4. Self-Scheduling Breaks

A lot of employee stress can come from their lack of control over their schedules, specifically over breaks. Even when your team loves their job, their responsibilities can wear them down over the day and cause a dip in their productivity. 

Breaks can help keep their minds fresh for the rest of the day, but everyone within your workforce has different limits and circumstances. 

So, it’s possible that you schedule a break long before or after they need one. Letting your employees schedule their own downtime helps mitigate stress while building trust between you and your team. 

5. Provide Feedback Opportunities

Listening also makes for one of the best goodwill gestures you can provide to an employee. Giving your team a chance to share their concerns about the workplace can help you address small problems before they become big ones. 

More than that, listening to your team and learning about them beyond the issues they’re having helps them feel more engaged with the company through you.

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6. Provide Piece of the Pie Opportunities

One major cause of high employee turnover is when employees feel like they’re stuck in their positions. While some people can grow comfortable with their roles, others want to continue to grow beyond where they are. 

In fact, they'll go elsewhere if they see no opportunity for that with your organisation. 

Giving them a piece of the pie means allowing your workforce to take on more responsibilities and challenges as they excel. When your best and brightest are trusted with more important work, it demonstrates that there is a path for advancement within the company. 

In addition, it helps motivate your employees to turn in their best work while potentially fostering the next generation of leaders for your business. 

7. Upgrade Equipment and Workstations

Comfort and convenience are key aspects of any workplace that can determine how much stress your workforce is dealing with daily. 

Technology is constantly improving in all areas, and outdated equipment may not keep up with the demands of their position. Slow machines and malfunctioning equipment can cause friction in the workplace.

Upgrading your workforce’s tools is an effective gesture of goodwill because it demonstrates you take your employee’s convenience into account when making purchasing decisions and other choices to invest in how they work. 

Not only can this help them feel more engaged with your company, but having the latest tools can make their job easier to do while getting higher quality results. 

8. Remote Flexibility

Remote jobs have become more and more commonplace, with employees enjoying the convenience of skipping the commute and being able to manage their daily schedules more easily. 

Many companies are transitioning to work-from-home business models, but others insist on an in-person only policy. A hybrid of the two models may be the best way to show goodwill towards your workforce.

Working from the office or home is a personal preference that various factors can influence. Giving your team a choice to work from either location demonstrates that you’re willing to accommodate their needs and that you respect their work ethic. It also signals that you build further trust in your team.

9. Offer a Tangible Gift

While there are several intangible goodwill gestures you can provide to your workforce, a physical gift can often work just as well. For one, you have a wide range of options for what to get them, and a small token of appreciation can be easier to fit into your budget than new equipment for the office. 

That being said, it’s still important to pick a good present that shows you value them. Get to know your workforce by talking with them about things that aren’t work-related; fortunately, that’s something else that can improve or maintain employee morale. 

10. Financial Gesture of Goodwill

Lastly, the simplest gesture of goodwill is monetary compensation, like a bonus or raise. It works similarly to providing a tangible gift but with a few more rules attached. 

For example, a monetary gift can’t be given in lieu of salary or wages or as a part of a salary sacrifice arrangement. Additionally, the amount you give them can’t exceed £300 during the tax year. 

Many businesses will offer financial goodwill gestures as rewards for employees performing well, which can increase productivity and help foster a more positive work environment. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Goodwill Gestures Qualifications

What Is the Meaning of a Goodwill Gesture?

A goodwill gesture in the workplace entails the employer providing their employees with a small tangible or intangible benefit. This token generally expresses appreciation or gratitude to an employee or team. 

How Do You Offer a Gesture of Goodwill to Employees?

The details of providing your employees with a gesture of goodwill depends on the gesture. However, no matter what you give them, you should always tell them why they’re getting it to encourage positive behaviour or build trust if it’s offered as an apology. 

What Goodwill Gestures Can You Offer to Employees?

There are fringe benefits like showing appreciation for the work they do for the company or listening to your team’s feedback about the company. There are also simpler tangible gestures like money or gifts. The gestures that work the best often differ from person to person. 

Find the Best Times to Show Goodwill with Personio

The larger a company’s workforce grows, the more difficult it becomes to track individual performances. Hard work becomes harder and harder to discern until it disappears into the background, which can eventually leave your employees feeling unappreciated. 

However, Personio, with its performance tracking and improvement features, can help make it clear which worker or team goes above and beyond. 

Easily schedule regular comprehensive feedback with in-depth reviews of each employee’s performance, so you know where to focus your goodwill gestures the most. Book your free demo to learn how Personio can help upgrade your people operations.


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