The Importance of Gratitude in the Workplace
Being grateful is a practice that’s often overlooked and not highly valued, especially in the workplace. Recent studies found a link between gratitude and success in business.* Companies that implemented a culture of gratitude practices often had employees who felt valued and enjoyed higher rates of satisfaction with their jobs, creating a positive and productive work environment**.
Why does being grateful change how we behave? When we are appreciated, we feel good, and pay that forward to our peers. In fact, psychologists say there is a direct link between gratitude and someone's well being and happiness***.
How can we cultivate gratitude in our daily lives?
Being grateful doesn’t have to occupy your entire day. A few simple practices will have your mood and outlook improved in no time.
This is the most common and effective practice. Writing clarifies your thoughts so that you can take action. Dedicate a notebook just for this endeavor, or create a file on your computer. Start by writing down three things you are grateful for each morning. It can be something like your family or your morning cup of coffee. The point is to be present and thankful for everything in your life, including the mundane.
The old-fashioned thank you note has fallen out of practice in recent years, replaced (if at all) by email and texting. That’s a shame, because a heartfelt expression of gratitude tells the recipient that the effort made for you is truly appreciated. And thank you notes are not just for physical gifts--send a thank you note to someone who helped you out recently. Writing a note, like writing in a journal, clarifies your thoughts and feelings while keeping you mindfully in the moment. It is a thoughtful gesture, invaluable in maintaining good will.
Gratitude starts in the mind and taking the time to notice and appreciate the good things in life is the first step to a healthy appreciation of the people in your life. Spend a few moments to focus on those who make your day or life a little easier even if it’s your coworkers or the mailman.
This step is all about mindfulness and getting on track in a mentally healthy way. Starting out with a few minutes of meditation in the morning can guide you to a happier and more productive day. Practicing mindfulness through meditation is a form of gratitude that encourages you to appreciate the here and now.
A gratitude rock is carried in your pocket to remember to take the time to be grateful. Gratitude is an easy step to take for a positive attitude. Put the rock in your pocket in the morning and when you empty your pockets at night look at and review all that you are thankful for. It might sound silly but this little practice can make a big impact on your day.
This step might be the most important one because you will tell those around you how much you appreciate them. This can also be the hardest step, especially for those who struggle to communicate effectively (out of shyness, perhaps) but if you start small you are sure to improve over time. It's also important to express your gratitude about life with someone you trust. Begin with starting a conversation about what brings you joy, rather than sharing gossip and negativity. This practice is crucial for those in leadership positions since they initiate the culture in the office.
Oprah has beautifully said, “Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.”
Oprah knows what she is talking about--she has achieved great success and shows her gratitude for it every day. Being grateful will enhance your relationships and has also been shown to boost your immune system, relieve stress and even get a better night's rest. Now you have the reasons and tools to start your gratitude journey and start focusing on what really matters.
Yael Friedman lets the world know what she’s up to in more ways than one. When she’s not channeling #abeautyblob, her lifestyle and beauty blog (abeautyblob.com) she writes and illustrates freelance articles about beauty products, skin care, and wellness.