Lack of gratitude in the workplace is a huge factor in the development of job dissatisfaction, absenteeism, turnover and burnout. Feeling appreciated at work and having a more positive outlook overall can improve not only your quality of life but also can improve you job satisfaction.
Builds Positive Relationships
Showing appreciation not only encourages people to say “thank you” and to develop good manners, but gratitude can also help you to develop new friendships, according to a 2014 study published in Emotion. This study determined that the simple act of telling an acquaintance about your appreciativeness makes them more likely to pursue an ongoing relationship. Whether you thank a new employee for opening the door for you or send a thank you note to a team member who helped you on a project, acknowledging someone else’s contribution can bring about new bonding opportunities within the workplace.
Improved Health and Well-Being among Employees
When people feel better, they work better. It’s a known fact. And experiencing gratitude from other people who you have helped or worked alongside can make you a happier – and healthier – person, according to research. In fact, gratitude can help to offset the negative impacts of heavy workloads, including anxiety and depression.
Anxiety involves an excessive amount of worry about things that have happened in the past or that might come to be in the future. With depression, sufferers are more prone to thinking about the negative. Gratitude can force people who suffer from either of these ailments to acknowledge the good that is going on.
When individuals’ minds and bodies are not clouded by negativity and emotional challenges, they are calmer and more energized, thus more equipped to work creatively and productively as well as deal with the regular stresses that inevitably come their way at some point on the job.
With more gratitude flowing in the workplace, people can experience more positive emotions and learn to recognize and appreciate good experiences rather than focusing on failure and problems.
Oftentimes, it is the small daily things in the workplace that we take for granted but these are the things that can actually help our attitude of gratitude to grow. For example, a colleague gets you a cup of coffee on a busy day. This kind gesture helped to save you the time it takes you to reach a stopping point with your work, get up and walk to the break room and potentially wait in line. The coworker who delivered a coffee to you saved you time and energy and brought you a warm cup of joe to refuel your energy so you can remain productive. Look for things like this to not only be grateful for, but also as opportunities to let your neighbor experience gratitude – take your busy coworker a cup of coffee some time!
A Trickle-Down Effect
In a University of Washington study, titled “The Grateful Workplace,” researchers examined things in the workplace including appreciation programs. They determined that even little acts of gratitude have a trickle-down effect that benefits the organization as a whole. Even something as simple as telling a team of employees how thankful you are for their performance on a particular project can have a great impact on the organization as a whole.
When individuals feel appreciated on a daily basis, collective gratitude within the organization can develop, which brings us to the next benefit of gratitude in the workplace: it improves productivity.
Gratitude does not just improve individual productivity. It has an almost contagious impact on the productivity of the other people working within your organization. When we give and receive thanks and are appreciative of all of our successes – no matter how small, it makes us feel better and can help us develop a higher resilience to stress. Gratitude also improves concentration and motivates workers to work harder.
In fact, one study determined that when workers received thank you notes from management, work performance was boosted by 50 percent! If that isn’t enough reason to instill an attitude of gratitude in your work environment, I don’t know what is!
When you seek to have an “attitude of gratitude” in your workplace, you can encourage others to do the same. Leading by example goes a long way when it comes to thankfulness.
If you are always stressed and express your ungratefulness to others, you not only miss losing team members and clients but you may also miss out on valuable opportunities, such as developing new business relationships that can help to drive your brand forward. If you set an example like this around the people you work with, do not be caught by surprise when they also exhibit the same attitude – because that kind of negativity can also be contagious.
Instead, seek to inspire an attitude of thankfulness and positivity in your work environment. We reap what we sow so make sure you sow the good stuff.
Everybody has the ability to cultivate gratitude. If you want to experience these benefits of gratitude in your workplace, why not start by taking a few moments to focus on what you are thankful for.