Gratitude at Work: Fueling Employee-Care and Your Company’s Growth

What is gratitude at work?

You often hear about expressing and experiencing gratitude in general, but what does that look like in the workplace?

Like in their personal lives, people thrive on gratitude within the workplace. Both as individuals in the company and as part of a company, people want to:

  • Feel valued (serving a purpose).
  • Feel like they are contributing to something bigger.
  • Feel appreciated (getting recognized).

Why does gratitude at work matter?

Let’s consider a few findings in the 2022 Indeed Work Happiness Report:

  • 86% of employees report that work impacts their happiness at home.
  • 41% of employees feel less motivated to do their best work when stressed.
  • When stressed, 40% of employees make more mistakes.

But as an employer, you can impact these statistics. You can help alleviate unhappiness and stress by expressing and cultivating gratitude.

Gratitude impacts performance

Employees who feel like work is negatively impacting their happiness at home are more likely to leave their jobs. Stressed employees are less able to show up fully or perform optimally, which doesn’t help their senses of purpose or abilities to contribute.

In Glassdoor’s Employee Appreciation Survey, 81% of employees reported that they are motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work.

Ways to show appreciation or gratitude at work

According to the same survey and infographic, employees’ top 3 forms of appreciation besides a pay raise are:

  1. Unexpected rewards (feeling appreciated)
  2. Involvement in decision-making (feeling part of something bigger)
  3. Career development (feeling valued)

Gratitude nurtures brand advocates

Your attitude and gratitude (or lack of) are contagious. They will spill out to those around you. When you foster more employees who demonstrate gratitude, other employees, potential employees and potential clients will naturally be drawn to you.

Gratitude improves your bottom line

Creating a happy work environment based on employee input also shows your gratitude for employees and increases employee engagement (feeling valued and part of something bigger). Also, when employees experience gratitude at work regularly, it creates a culture of employee care. If your company cares for your employees, your employees will care about your company more.

Ways to Demonstrate Gratitude at Work This Season

worker having a massage

Any time of year, you can show and cultivate more gratitude at work by:

  1. Keeping a gratitude journal or whiteboard/wall (part of something bigger).
  2. Distributing rewards (feeling appreciated).
  3. Recognizing achievements by your employees in company meetings or newsletters (feeling valued).
  4. Saying thank you for the little things throughout the day (feeling appreciated).
  5. Creating a visual of your teams and individuals along with goals (part of something bigger).
  6. Offering professional development workshops or education (feeling valued).
  7. Hosting events like on-site massage (feeling appreciated).

It’s prime time to note that research also shows that expressing gratitude to others is even more rewarding than receiving it!

Research also shows that employees often hope for a small bonus or gift over the Christmas, Kwanzaa and Hanukkah holidays. But you could elevate your gratitude expression starting with this Thanksgiving holiday.

Gratitude during the holidays

Here are preferences as discovered in Glassdoor’s survey:

  1. Not being required to work the day before Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving and the day after (62%)
  2. A cash bonus (49%)
  3. Not being required to work Thanksgiving Day or the day after (44%)
  4. A grocery store gift card (41%)

But don’t just make expressing gratitude a seasonal thing. It’s important to have a strategy for how you recognize employees consistently throughout the year – and how you cultivate gratitude as part of your company’s culture.

For example, BreakWell offers a Gratitude Challenge to help you and your employees shift into mindsets of gratitude and be more aware of all of the things that are going great in your lives. Or you can make it a more intimate effort by using BreakWell’s team of mindset coaches to teach your employees the tools needed to cultivate more gratitude at work and at home.

Endless research backs up the power of gratitude in our lives. But how gratitude is best received and expressed varies with individuals. This is why it’s critical to engage with your employees before you make assumptions. When you find out which forms of gratitude they like to receive, and which ways of expressing gratitude bring them the most joy, your gratitude strategy will be much more successful!

That’s why you have another option – to go deeper and customize a plan. BreakWell is experienced in gathering this information for you (as an unbiased party), designing a gratitude strategy that will work and implementing it with minimal disruption of your usual tasks. Just click here and let’s chat!

Contributing Co-Authors: Tara Kraus & Natalie Gensits


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