Promote a Culture of Gratitude

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect, appreciate, and give thanks for all that we have.  For many of us, thankfulness is directed towards our family and friends who are seated beside us at the table.  However, too few share how grateful they are for their colleagues and employees.

Gratitude Increases Engagement and Performance

Research on gratitude and appreciation demonstrates that when employees feel valued: they have high job satisfaction, are willing to work longer hours, engage in productive relationships with co-workers and supervisors, are motivated to do their best, and work towards achieving the company’s goals.

Recognition and Appreciation

A study of over 1,700 employees conducted in 2012 by the American Psychological Association (APA) indicated that more than half of all employees intended to search for new jobs because they felt underappreciated and undervalued.  This seems surprising in many ways, as we invest so much of our time and energy in our job.  Why is expressing gratitude in our daily interactions so hard?  Often in our hyper-paced world, we are so busy that we fail to acknowledge and share our appreciation with others.  

Here are some ways you and your team can foster an attitude of gratitude:

Gratitude Wall.
  Cover a large office wall with post-a-notes or white drawing paper and create a mural of “thanks.”  Encourage your team to write words of acknowledgement or drawings of what they are most thankful for.    

Gratitude Notes.  Supply notecards for team members to write thank you notes to one another.  The intent is to make each note personal and meaningful.  A colleague of mine spends Thanksgiving morning writing “thank you” notes.  She writes to the people who have made a difference in her life that year.  

Gratitude 365.   Make it a daily practice of saying “thank you” and giving praise to employees in a genuine, honest, and heartfelt way.  Taking the time and effort to create a culture that values and appreciates one another can reap great rewards in terms of performance and satisfaction.  At the end of the day, we all just want to feel valued and appreciated.

What are the ways you “give thanks?”  

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