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7 Ways to Encourage Gratitude in the Workplace

Thursday, November 28, 2019
Thankfulness is a theme that deserves more than just a month. And in corporate culture, encouraging gratitude goes a long toward ensuring positive employee engagement. As long as this gratitude is genuine, it can have broad effects throughout a company in addition to engagement, including productivity and customer service. To illustrate, a University of Pennsylvania study revealed that when leaders are grateful to their employees, the employees are 50% more successful.
 
Here are seven tips to keep in mind as you encourage gratitude this holiday season and beyond.
 
Start at the Top. Managers should model gratitude. According to one article, “It reinforces the company mission and can encourage the team to feel better, and also to be more gracious and appreciative to one another.”

Be Authentic. Obviously, gratitude is meaningless if it is not authentic. Mean what you say, or else people will sense intentions that are disingenuous.

Plan Social Activities.  According to SHRM, “In a workplace where teams are increasingly important, healthy personal relationships are a key ingredient. And there’s virtually no end to the types of events HR can sponsor, so keep an open mind.” These are excellent opportunities to say thanks.

Schedule Volunteer Activities. SHRM also points out that “service projects are another opportunity to help workers cultivate closer relationships. And they’re rarely expensive to implement.” By serving others, people are more likely to show their own gratitude.

Say Thanks in a Big Way. Public recognition is motivating both for the recipient and those that witness it.
Don’t forget the people behind-the-scenes. Many offices have rockstars, and then those that do the work that supports them. As this article advises, “thank those people too, because they may not be the rockstar of the office, but they’re still an important person in the team.”

Say Thanks for the Little Things. Acknowledge small wins, as well as the bigger ones. While closing the big account is an obvious reason to celebrate, you should also thank the colleague who always makes sure there is a fresh pot of coffee.
 
All of these tips have a positive impact on employee engagement and encourage a culture of gratitude. No employee wants to feel invisible, and a simple ‘thank you’ has a ripple effect. According to one report, companies with strong employee engagement scores generate revenue growth at a rate 2.5 times higher than companies with lower marks. Gratitude is, of course, not about bottom lines or lowering turnover, but when encouraged in a workplace, the upshot is all-encompassing.
 
Happy Thanksgiving!

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