Gratitude in the Workplace
According to Harvard’s health website, “in positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships”. Each person feels and expresses gratitude differently, nonetheless, it brings similar benefits to everyone – the main one being that it opens doors to more relationships. This benefit is essential in leading a good business, as it helps create stronger connections to employees, clients and partners. Furthermore, gratitude also improves physical and psychological health, enhances empathy, reduces aggression, improves self-esteem, and allows for overall healthier environments. Based on studies, 92% of people agree that grateful bosses are more likely to succeed, and that a simple “thank you” can make them feel better at work.
However, according to a survey of 2,000 Americans released by the John Templeton Foundation, people are less likely to feel or express gratitude at work than anywhere else. So here are some ways to cultivate gratitude at work:
Start Meetings with a Positive Attitude
Instead of starting a meeting with introductions or project updates, thank the people that work with you for their effort. It helps people become proud of the work they have been doing as well as reduces stress.
Engage in Acts of Appreciation
We live in a world that praises hard work, which can become quite stressful and sometimes frustrating. Therefore, creating a habit of appreciation can totally change the workplace environment. Expressing gratitude provides a positive boost, builds engagement, and trust. Aside from practicing appreciation inside the work environment, it is also essential to show gratitude towards your clients. Instagram can be a great tool for that; creating regular posts and captions that show the importance of the followers to the company is a great way to build up a more personal and loyal relationship with clients.
Gratitude Must Be Embraced by Leaders
As mentioned before, in a culture that praises achievements, hard work, and busyness, it is common for people to feel guilty for taking time to relax and slow down. “We are taught that the busier we are, the more successful we’ll be,” says Emmy Negrin, former manager of the Yahoo Employee Foundation and Yahoo for Good. Therefore, it is important that the habit of gratitude comes from managers and leaders, so that other employees feel comfortable practicing it as well.
Gratitude Should Become Part of the Culture
Lastly, the key to a successful program is consistency. It needs to be an everyday practice. An employee awarded once a year will not make any difference. Essentially, companies need a baseline and a set of rules regarding how to treat their employees well, and on how to create an environment that encourages gratitude and appreciation.