Practicing Gratitude in Your Workplace

Practicing Gratitude in the Workplace

Gratitude is a theme for this season of the year. As a culture there has been an upward trend to find room for daily expressions of gratitude as a means of positivity and personal growth. Sadly, practicing gratitude in the workplace is a concept few companies actually embrace as part of their vision and culture. However, the ones that do are discovering that thankfulness brings a host of benefits within an environment that encourages it.

Research on Gratitude

UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Magazine wrote an article about gratitude and quoted Ryan Fehr, an assistant professor of management at the University of Washington in Seattle, “We tend to think of organizations as transactional places where you’re supposed to be ‘professional.’” The article went on to say, “Yet evidence suggests that gratitude and appreciation contribute to the kind of workplace environments where employees actually want to come to work and don’t feel like cogs in a machine.” It’s important for people to feel that the time and work they are investing in a company is valued and a part of something that matters. In this day in age, candidates are searching for more than high salaries and generous benefits packages; they’re also looking for corporate atmospheres of positivity. As a company, it is important to recognize the value employees place on having a work environment that promotes appreciation.

This article published in Forbes focused on year around gratitude reveals some interesting findings. “Two workplace surveys turn up some revealing numbers about praise in the workplace. In general, managers confess that giving feedback—especially negative feedback—to their direct reports is stressful, and 21% avoid doing so at all. Yet, surprisingly, 37% admit they also avoid giving positive reinforcement.” Showing positivity and kindness in the work environment might feel awkward and vulnerable, but there is so much value that comes with practicing appreciation as a means of promoting gratitude in the workplace.

The Forbes articles went on to say, “In his research on gratitude, Adam Grant addresses the related concept of social worth. In a fundraising call center, he and a colleague found that a simple personal visit from the manager—explaining the value of the work the callers were doing and thanking them for it—resulted in a 50% jump in the number of calls made. They concluded the difference was not due to increased feelings of self-efficacy (feeling competent and capable) but to a sense of being socially valued.” Building an environment where gratitude is present and practiced builds relationships and belief in an organization. Employees who feel valued will inevitably become more productive in their work and more loyal to the company.

Gratitude Benefits Corporate and Employee Relations

In business today, generous leaders inspire their employees not only by material means, like bonuses and financial benefits, but also by creating an environment that fosters gratitude. In turn, employees are showing reduced stress levels, higher job satisfaction rates, fewer health-related complaints, and fewer sick days taken. One of the best factors about gratitude and introducing it into the work environment is that it costs nothing more than a bit of intentionality. Therefore it is probably the most affordable way for companies to grow and flourish and one of the most important pillars of company culture to emphasize.

Thanks to our clients and candidates

At JL Nixon Consulting, we want to express our gratitude for the relationships we’ve built throughout the years with both our clients and candidates. Your make our work pleasant and worthwhile! Thank you!