By Grace Sailer
‘Tis the season for reflecting on all we are grateful for. When you ask someone during the Thanksgiving Holiday what they are thankful for, very few people end up saying things about their job. Why is that? In today’s post, we’re gonna look at new ways you can express gratitude in the workplace, because why shouldn’t you be thankful for your job?
Before we get into the tips and tricks, let’s take a look at why expressing gratitude at work is so important. Forbes online published an article all about this, and looked at workplace gratitude in two different respects: the business perspective and the human perspective. The post quotes a study by the American Psychological Association (APA) which found ” that 93% of employees ‘who reported feeling valued said that they are motivated to do their best at work and 88 percent reported feeling engaged.’” With this in mind, expressing gratitude as simply as saying “Thank you”, takes the shape of a free and easy way to boost productivity and performance. On the other hand, with a more human perspective in mind, expressing gratitude helps to cultivate a healthier environment. In this case, coworkers “‘become more trusting with each other, and more likely to help each other out.’”. This is characterized as the “spillover effect” caused by workplace gratitude by author Jeremy Adam Smith in his blog for UC Berkeley. Cultivating a culture of trust and validation is important when most people spend the majority of their day at work. The easiest way to do this, as Forbes affirms, is through gratitude.
So, now that we know how much a culture of gratitude can boost your workplace environment, how exactly do we implement this? Remember Jeremy Adam Smith from Berkeley? He gives five ways to do this in his article for the Greater Good magazine. Smith suggests starting with the company’s top employees implementing gratitude in the interview process, or even performance reviews and staff meetings. Smith asserts that, “It’s up to the people with power to clearly, consistently, and authentically say ‘thank you’ in both public and private settings.” Additionally, Smith in the light of psychologist Robert Emmons, suggests utilizing gratitude especially in the light of crisis. He quotes,
“Gratitude helps employees to see beyond one disaster and recognize their gains. Ideally, it gives them a tool ‘to transform an obstacle into an opportunity,’ as Emmons writes, and reframe a loss as a potential gain. If your office has gone through a crisis, hold a meeting with the aim of gaining a new perspective on the incident.”Jeremy Adam Smith for Greater Good Magazine
Still don’t know where to start? Scott Gerber, Founder and CEO at the Young Entrepreneur Council writes for Thrive Global, “13 Simple Ways of Expressing Gratitude at Work.” We suggest starting with some of his tips, including “offering unsolicited positive feedback,” “Be specific in your gratitude”, and “Reward [employees] with fun events”. Starting with these suggestions offers a fool proof way to launch your new company culture, one that continues to appreciate their employees, no matter the time of year.
No matter what, make sure to find things to be grateful for in your everyday, it’ll be sure to make some of the mundane things about life more interesting.
Most of all, have a Happy Thanksgiving! May it be full of good eats, good people, and good times!