Have you ever heard your company leaders saying something like, employees should just be grateful to receive a paycheck? Or have you perhaps caught yourself saying something similar? As a business owner, managing your employees can be one of your most difficult tasks and it can be easy to become frustrated when employees aren’t performing as you had hoped. But, the language we use to talk to and about our employees becomes a part of our company culture and therefore can have a negative impact on employee engagement.

Small businesses want employee engagement at their organization to be high for many reasons, from decreasing employee turnover to simply having happier more satisfied employees to work with each day. A recent blog from Talent Culture gives five phrases you can add to your vocabulary to have a positive impact on employee engagement.

Please. All employees at your organization, regardless of their role, can positively impact communication by adding this word to their vocabulary. Using the word please lets the listener know you are requesting their help. It isn’t just the polite thing to do; it also impacts how a listener reacts to your request.

Thank you. Thanking someone for their efforts is essential to a positive working relationship. Employees want to know that their efforts are recognized and appreciated. For different ways to say “thank you” to your employees, download our Employee Recognition Toolkit.

Do you have a moment?/Is this a good time? When you call upon someone at an unexpected time, this is a great way to show that you value the other person’s time. Even if you have a scheduled meeting, asking if it is still a good time can be a nice touch. It demonstrates respect and opens the door for the listener to return that respect. This type of mutual respect is what trusting relationships are built upon.

I understand/Help me understand. If you don’t understand where the employee is coming from, ask questions until you do understand. Empathizing with employees and putting yourself in their shoes also builds a trusting relationship. This trust is critical for employee engagement to flourish.

Well done. This may not be exactly your style, so find words that do mean something oto you. Just using “good job” tended to lose its meaning after time. At A Plus Benefits, we sometimes throw around a “you kick butt!” and we’ve heard others use “brilliant.” Find a phrase that works for you and your organization. Something that indicates someone has gone above and beyond.

Employee engagement is not an exact science. What works at one organization may not work at another. But if you were able to make a positive impact on your employees by adding a few phrases to your vocabulary, wouldn’t you want to give it a try?

If you are looking for other ways to improve employee engagement at your organization, contact a HR Business Partner at 1-800-748-5102 or humanresources@aplusbenefits.com.