The Importance Of Showing Gratitude In Business
November is National Gratitude Month – and with Thanksgiving right around the corner, this is the perfect time to reflect on that for which you are grateful, embrace the power of gratitude, and appreciate the positive things in life.
For most of us, expressing gratitude to our friends and family comes naturally – but doing so in the workplace? Not so much. And yet, thankfulness can be crucial for the success of your business. That’s why we wanted to take this opportunity to discuss the importance of showing gratitude in business and show you how a simple act of saying “Thank you” can profoundly impact your company.
The Power Of Gratitude
Gratitude, by definition, goes a step further than simply acknowledging good things in life. It is an act of realizing that positive things in life are often a result of forces outside of ourselves – and recognizing the role of someone else’s gestures and efforts in it. But here’s the thing: Most of us are taught that these actions are reserved for personal relationships. And while most people are comfortable with expressing these emotions and showing gratitude towards friends, family members, and significant others,
“Gratitude” and “business,” however, are words that are rarely seen in the same sentence.
The workplace is seen as a realm of hierarchies, promotions, strict professionalism, and trying to get ahead. And in such an environment, people can be a bit reluctant to acknowledge their dependency on their co-workers. Even more so, many feel that bringing emotions such as gratitude and compassion into the workplace would be viewed as “unprofessional.” So, it’s no surprise that, according to one survey, as much as 74% of people reported they have never expressed gratitude in the workplace – or have done so maybe once a year.
And yet, research suggests otherwise: Showing appreciation and gratitude helps improve overall well-being, reduce stress levels, build resilience, boost morale and engagement – and create a sense of belonging. And these things ultimately contribute to a healthier and more productive workplace and improve business outcomes. Remember how, during March and April of 2020, people worldwide rushed to their windows and balconies every evening to bang on their pots and pans, applaud, and cheer for the healthcare workers who, at the time, were at the frontlines in the battle against COVID-19? It was a touching display of gratitude that helped many healthcare workers feel seen and appreciated. And for many, it was a much-needed morale boost at the end of their day.
That’s the power of gratitude that we are referring to here: Sure, most of us are not saving lives at work – but our batteries are still being drained day in and day out. And sometimes, a simple “Thank you” or recognition of our efforts in the workplace can be enough to give us a boost and keep us going.
So, this Thanksgiving season, we’d like to remind you of the benefits of showing gratitude in the workplace:
- It creates a stronger sense of community among co-workers
- It increases motivation and inspires loyalty to the company
- It leads to overall higher job satisfaction and promotes employee retention
- It makes people more excited to work and increases productivity
How To Foster Gratitude In Business
Saying “Thank you” and expressing gratitude is an emotional act – one that makes an individual feel vulnerable. And while there has certainly been a shift towards a more positive workplace culture in recent years, many people still feel uncomfortable expressing these emotions in a professional environment. So, what can your business do to change that? How can you create an environment in which your employees feel appreciated, respected, valued, and empowered?
Here are some tips on how to foster gratitude in the workplace:
- Give praise when it’s genuinely deserved; that way, it will be more meaningful.
- Don’t fall into the trap of using “me” statements when showing gratitude. Instead, choose wording that is focused on the person you’re praising.
- Try to avoid blanket statements when you’re saying “Thank you” to someone and make it specific.
- Start with yourself and consider what you can do to model these behaviors and create a positive cycle of spreading gratitude throughout the workplace.
- Remember that you’re working as a team, and give thanks to those who contributed to your achievements.
- Don’t forget to show gratitude to the unsung heroes of the office – those who rarely get recognized for their behind-the-scenes efforts.
- Consider creating a “gratitude wall” for the office – a simple bulletin board where people can pin “Thank you” notes to one another and express appreciation.
Take the time to acknowledge each other’s hard work and show kindness and gratitude; you’ll be surprised by the impact something as simple as a “Thank you” can have.