“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
William Arthur Ward
How often do you express appreciation? By saying “thank you” after a co-worker or employee has helped in anyway, is showing gratitude. It can go beyond a job well done; simply being thankful for having employment is a show of appreciation and can lead to a richer life.
In a recent article on 99u Carmen Hagen, Head of Brand Strategies for Adobe, discussed the secret to an efficient team is gratitude. Carmen states that while most people agree that gratitude leads to success, the study concluded offices are the least common place to express gratitude. When you are working long-hard hours to meet deadlines, answer e-mails, in meetings, and return phone calls, thanking people takes a backseat. Certain work environments and management styles have created a void in morale, while other companies take a different approach.
How important is gratitude in the workplace?
In 2013, the John Templeton Foundation commissioned a national survey on gratitude, 93% of those polled agreed that grateful bosses were more likely to be successful, and only 18% thought that grateful bosses would be seen as “weak.” More than 90% of those polled agreed that grateful people are more fulfilled, lead richer lives, and are more likely to have friends. Happiness leads to productivity.
Even at Google, they understand how important showing gratitude is vital to morale. After surveying their employees in 2013, Google uncovered that the no.1 motivator was not more money or stock options but peer-to-peer recognition.
How to say, “thank you.”
Christine Riordan’s article, Foster a Culture of Gratitude, lists three ways studies and research has shown leaders can foster a culture of gratitude by developing, involving, and celebrating employees on a constant basis.
1. Help others develop: Employees feel more engaged in the company culture when they have opportunities for growth and development. Conduct a survey to see which workshops have the most interest or a leadership program for those who wish to develop skills that will lead to promotions. If promotion opportunities are limited, create task forces and new projects.
2. Involve employees in decision-making: Take interest in your employees or co-workers; find out their skills and hidden talents. Have them take part in discussions involving those specialties. Studies have shown that when employees are able to use their skills in the workplace creates greater job satisfaction.
3. Acknowledge and celebrate: Positive reinforcement is key, it is easy to spot when something is wrong, but also take note when something is done right. Providing praise, rewards and awards when employees are working hard and doing a great job gives a sense of pride. This is also a key component and skill in Employee Development Systems’ Communicating to Manage Performance course.
What are some ways you show gratitude at your own workplace? Spend some time recognizing accomplishments; what are some creative ways you can foster a positive productive culture?