CAMBRIDGE, MA—Citing the gesture as a “best practice shared across the nation’s highest-morale offices,” researchers at the Harvard Business School published a report Friday identifying a correlation between workplaces with the highest employee retention rate and those where management distributed an end-of-year note titled “Thanks Team.” “Our findings clearly show a hastily dashed-off email telling employees to ‘keep up the good work’ far outweighs other factors such as pay raises, promotions, and company culture in terms of keeping efficient workers in the stable,” said head researcher Dr. Ellen Mahoney, referring to a specific case in which an employee had already drafted her resignation only to reconsider after receiving a 120-word, two-sentence email from her supervisor with the subject line “I appreciate all of you.” “In the majority of instances, managers claiming to be looking forward to another exciting year were able to persuade employees to remain in their current positions despite diverse negative quality-of-life factors, just to see how it all played out. Moreover, supervisors who referred to their staff as ‘one big family’ were much more likely to keep loyal employees for years or even decades, in some cases retaining experienced and dedicated workers until just before their retirement benefits kicked in, at which point said workers were either laid off or pruned away during a sudden corporate relocation to the Midwest.” Mahoney’s team also found that companies which failed to circulate an end-of-year note were 87 percent more likely to shut down in the subsequent year. 

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