Clever Ways to Encourage Gratitude in the Workplace

Gratitude in the workplace is something that can not only be developed over time, but is something that pays dividends to everyone involved. Having a strong sense of workplace gratitude allows for the organisation and individuals alike, to claim all sorts of rewards.

The best thing about being in this sound psychological state thanks to gratification, is that it can be achieved by anyone. On either side of the gesture. Being gracious and happy is only a stone’s throw away. For reasons that will be covered in this article, we’ll explore the five ways to encourage gratitude as well as the benefits of gratitude in the workplace.

What is gratitude?

Gratitude is the byproduct of being grateful. Being thankful and more so, appreciative of what you have and where you are. Gratitude is something that allows one to be happy with their present position. Having gratitude helps a person to add to the nature of their environment. This inevitably contributing to the positive culture that they’re in.

Gratitude could be anything from being thankful for where you are, for something that someone’s done or even someone else showing gratitude towards you as a form of appreciation. Showing gratitude has wonderful effects on all people, on either side of its action.

And personally, I believe it makes everyone around you to be more considerate, happy and gracious themselves! Creating a ripple effect in which everyone around you feels better and better performs.

Benefits of gratitude in the workplace

Gratitude in the workplace can have many profound benefits. Depending on what side of the gracious gesture you’re on, it can play positively into your life. This will ultimately make you happier and more stress free.

Gratitude in the workplace has the capacity to positively affect many different areas. Office culture and the ability to produce a higher standard of work are two areas where gratitude can pay dividends.

It sounds bizarre, but studies show that when a person with power shows gratitude, the recipient then see’s positive effects throughout his work and life. Engaging those who potentially feel hesitant or disengaged in the workplace, by some simple communication.

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For example, at the University of Pennsylvania (UP), a study concluded that when leaders are grateful to their employees, the employees are 50% more successful.

From simply feeling better, to feeling safe at work, to therefore create a stronger work/life balance. Gratitude can be a helping factor that costs nothing to give.

A simple thank you can go a long way in reducing ones stress and leads to having a better working environment. It was shown that employees that feel appreciated by someone else’s gratitude are more likely to have a higher degree of job satisfaction. Not only that, but more likely to then reinforce those around them.

Five ways to encourage workplace gratitude

Start at the top

When dispensing gratitude, it always help to start from the top. As previously stated, if a higher up appreciates those beneath them, a higher quality of work is produced. Even giving a quick “thank you” can go a long way when you’re speaking with employees. It reinforces the company mission and can encourage the team to feel better and also to be more gracious and appreciative to one another. Creating somewhat of a pleasant cycle, reinforcing the positive working culture throughout the office.

See our article, 24 Free Images to Thank Your Employees for images you could share.

If you’re a manager, you want to climb up the corporate ladder. By showing gratitude, you can manage your team in such a way that helps them climb the ladder with you. If nothing else, that will reflect positively for you. As a manager, not showing gratitude in the workplace is an easy mistake to make, but just as easy an action to engage in.

Quality not quantity

Authenticity is something that must be taken into consideration whilst showing gratitude. Because without being authentic, the gesture is undermined. Since gratitude can’t be forced, it has to be felt and be fully authentic in nature. For this reason, the quality of the gesture is more important than the quantity in which you disperse.

Thank the unsung heroes

In a way, this rule can undermine the last. Regardless, it’s still important. Because often within an organisation there are specific groups and classes of people who regularly get thanked. This happens while others do so on a much irregular basis. All we’re saying is to thank those people too, because they may not be the rockstar of the office, but they’re still an important person in the team.

Teamwork games

Photo: Creative Sustainability, Flickr.

Acknowledge the small wins as well as the bigger ones

Wins are wins and wins are good. You don’t have to specifically catch someone doing something great to thank them. However if a win comes across your desk or you do happen to see someone doing something well, don’t be afraid to give some positive reinforcement.

Recognise team success as well as personal success

You’re the leader of your team. So it’s likely you’re going to be the one being directly reported to about any success within the company. Therefore it’s your responsibility to then relay the good praises down the line. Engage your team and let them know they’re doing great. Because without them, you would have a lot more work to do all by yourself!

In Summary

Gratitude has a place in the workplace, but must be nurtured to get the benefits. As receiving gratitude releases dopamine, which is the reward hormone, it’s easy to see how the occasional gratefulness can mean for a happier environment. Yet it’s the quantifiable effects that allow the business owner to attempt the implementation of the gracious work environment.

Because when something costs nothing proves to be such a rewarding endeavor, it’s in the businesses best interest to recreate such a rewarding environment in their office.

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Lauren Clarke

Lauren Clarke

Lauren writes for 6Q and a number of other blogs from her home office in Australia. She spends her time writing, reading and changing US to International English on many articles that she edits.