5 Benefits of Gratitude in the Workplace: Gratitude Exercise

5 Benefits of Gratitude in the Workplace

Benefits of Gratitude in the Workplace

Have you ever wondered why some organizations have happy and content employees and higher productivity? 

How about a boss who never has an encouraging or appreciative word for you? Someone who never seems to acknowledge your hard work, innovative ideas, or value your contribution. The same can be said about the co-workers as well. How would this make you feel? Unhappy and discontent for sure. 

The difference is in the show of gratitude in its myriad forms – acknowledgment, appreciation, encouragement, acceptance, recognition, support, trust, confidence, reassurance, … The list goes on.

Show of gratitude plays a vital role in the cohesiveness of the organization – how well employees work together to achieve success.

The lack of gratitude can be frustrating for an employee but even more for those in the leadership role. When members of a team are not appreciative of each other’s efforts and commitment, it will show up as failed leadership.

The leaders can do a lot to infuse a culture of gratitude in the workplace. This can improve the atmosphere, leading to a happier workforce, closer bonding, and ultimately, enhanced productivity.

Here are some more reasons to practice gratitude in the workplace.

1. Gratitude is an acknowledgment for the individual

Most organizations offer rewards for performances and achieving work targets. This recognition, though welcome, fails to offer complete satisfaction. The missing thing here is appreciation. While recognition is a reward for the work done, appreciation is an acceptance of the worth of the individual. 

Even while celebrating and rejoicing work-related successes, applauding the talent and commitment of individuals can make a huge difference to the atmosphere in the organization. Most employees want more than incentives and rewards. A “You did great” or “Job well done” or a pat on the back can work wonders.

Individual appreciation need not be limited to work-related matters. Attributes of employees like the ability to motivate others, organize events, talk to people, or even their efforts at relationship building among team members with their banter can be encouraged, acknowledged, and appreciated. 

2. Gratitude is gainful to everyone

Gratitude is one of the gestures that benefits the beneficiary and the benefactor in equal measure. This is more so in the workplace. 

When the efforts of the individuals in a team are appreciated, they are motivated to work harder more cohesively to achieve more success for the team. An organization with a culture of gratitude is bound to have a happier workforce and higher productivity. It is a win-win arrangement for all concerned.

3. Gratitude helps in building bonds

It is important for the team members to work together as a unit and not as disjointed individuals. Definitely not against each other. Together you would be able to achieve way more. 

The existence of gratitude in the workplace can help in building rapport between the team members. Appreciating the contribution of individuals can help in strengthening relationships.

The show of gratitude benefits both the giver and the recipient. It has a positive impact on both. This promotes healthy bonding among team members. The simple act of saying “thank you” or “you did great” can accomplish so much more than you can imagine.

4. Gratitude produces better managers

The workplace is often stressful, especially if you are in a leading role. Managing individuals from diverse backgrounds, personal attributes, and talents can be challenging at the best of times. Making them work together as a strong, harmonious unit is no mean task.

Gratitude is considered one of the easiest stress management techniques in an organization. It can eliminate unnecessary tension among team members and prompt them to cooperate. The ability to make individuals work together as a team is the hallmark of a good leader.

A point to note here is that gratitude doesn’t have the same meaning for everyone. The show of gratitude needs to be individually tailored to meet the requirements of individuals. While some may like public acknowledgment, a select few would prefer a private one with a more personal touch. 

5. Gratitude has a positive impact on workplace culture

The culture or atmosphere in an organization has a big say in employee retention and in drawing in new talent. The modern-day workforce wants much more than remuneration and benefits. 

The best candidates in the job market who have the luxury of choice look for workplaces where their talent is valued and great camaraderie exists among employees. And, just the fact that the top talent pool considers an organization attractive can enhance its image.

To this end, many organizations conduct short-term programs to promote gratitude and appreciation in the workplace. This can be beneficial only if the practice is actively promoted and continued for the rest of the year. 

Tips to cultivating gratitude at work

The culture of gratitude in an organization has to start at the top.it is up to the leadership to develop and sustain an atmosphere of gratitude in the organization. There are so many ways this can be done, most of them at minimal or no cost.

  • Personally thank individuals for their contribution.
  • This may be followed up with thank-you cards.
  • Letters of appreciation in hardcopy or email work equally well.
  • Thank those invisible individuals of the workforce who prefer to remain in the background and continue to do good work. While doing so, respect their inclination for privacy, if any. 
  • Create opportunities for employees to express their gratitude to others. This can be done by creating space in team meetings, by building a dedicated webpage, or by maintaining a gratitude journal.
  • Observe one day a week as gratitude day. Or organize 2-3 day programs to promote gratitude. The idea is to turn the spotlight on gratitude and encourage its presence and prevalence. 
  • Encourage the use of positive words among the workforce.
  • Put up a “Thank-You” notice board to display the messages of gratitude.
  • Create a gratitude wall at work. This is a place where everyone can share what they are grateful for.
  • Organize gratitude exercises like gratitude Word Cloud. Use simple prompts like “what are you grateful for today?” or “who are you grateful for today?”. The visual impact of this exercise is immense.
Closing thoughts

One of the best things about gratitude is that it costs nothing to the giver in its simplest form. Investing minimal effort, time, and application, you get to reap rich dividends. By introducing gratitude and appreciation, leadership can create an environment in the organization where every member of the team is valued and everyone’s contribution is acknowledged.

The show of gratitude can enhance the happiness of employees resulting in increased motivation and engagement. Promoting gratitude in the workplace can help the organization create satisfied employees as well as positively impact the team and organizational performance.

In short, gratitude in the workplace translates to a happier workforce and enhanced productivity.

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