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Gratitude in the Workplace

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s that time of year when we all take a few extra moments to reflect on things for which we are most thankful; our health, family, friends, that great vacation, a kind neighbor, and the little things we often take for granted.

In this season of gratitude, it makes sense to think about thankfulness in the workplace too. That may seem like an odd concept, but showing and receiving thankfulness at work can make your attitude, the attitude of your co-workers, and the whole work environment a whole lot better.

Gratitude has the interesting power of changing the ‘atmosphere’ around us. When gratitude is regularly practiced in the workplace - relationships can be transformed, complaints are often minimized, and satisfaction levels of all parties rise. This effect is long lasting - essentially, gratitude rewires the brain to see and process the world differently. Renowned researcher Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., is the world's leading scientific expert on gratitude, and cites research showing that practicing gratitude on a daily basis reduces stress hormones by 23%.

How can we benefit from this in the workplace? Here are a few tips for ways to bring gratitude into your daily work- life.

  • Employees need to hear “thank you”. Everyone needs to hear authentic appreciation, and more often than just once-in-while for that huge weekend project, or year-end budget deadline.
  • The more you give, the more you get. People who feel appreciated want to be helpful. And, those in an environment of gratitude trust each other.
  • Saying thank you doesn’t cost a thing, but it sure raises the self worth of those receiving gratitude; while raising their confidence in those offering it.
  • Remember the “co-stars”. Every office has a team that commands the attention; salespeople, the V.P.’s, etc… Remember the support staff behind the system. Everyone plays a part in making our work-machine actually work!
  • Forced thanks are never well received. Be genuine and authentic. True appreciation over an insincere abundance.
  • Gratitude is not “thanking someone for doing their job” – you’re thanking your co-worker for all they bring to the table.

Start your workplace attitude of gratitude during this thanksgiving season, but keep it going all year long!