Give the Gift of Gratitude – Now, and All Year Long

By Julie Rose | Communication

Nov 15
Gratitude at Work

Thanksgiving is just a week away for those of us in the United States, which means it’s the season for gratitude. What could possibly be wrong with this statement? After all, we’re talking about gratitude! Well, this hits on one of the fundamental mistakes organizations make when it comes to practicing gratitude in the workplace – doing it only once a year, often around the holidays.

It turns out there’s a plethora of research on how companies are getting a seemingly simple thing like gratitude all wrong. Did you know that 60% of people say they never express gratitude at work, or do so only about once a year? Only 10% thank their colleagues daily. And, here’s the kicker: 81% of people say they’d work harder for a more grateful boss, and in one study, employees who were shown gratitude from an authority figure were 50% more productive than those who weren’t thanked in advance.

So, if we know the significant impact that gratitude can have at work, and we also know it’s not happening often enough, what can we do about it? Here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Follow the leader – senior executives need to lead by example. If employees hear someone at the top expressing gratitude, they will be more likely to do it themselves. And don’t reserve this for one-on-one interactions or small groups – leaders should be as public about this as possible. I’m aware of one company that sits near the top of the Fortune 500 whose Chief Executive not only thanks the employees at every Town Hall meeting but asks them to extend that appreciation to the friends and family who support those employees in coming to work every day. Now that’s a powerful – and very public – expression of gratitude!
  • Leave no stone unturned – some people feel more obvious to thank than others. The saleswoman who blows past her targets every quarter. The project team that recently won an industry award. But behind every success, there are people who probably aren’t receiving much gratitude for their efforts, from the administrative assistant who keeps the calendars organized, to the business analyst who aggregates all that data. Take time to think about who might be missing out on hearing “thank you” and be the first to show them gratitude.
  • Make it a daily practice – Make it a personal mission to recognize someone for something each and every day. Go ahead – let Thanksgiving or the other upcoming holidays be your prompt if that’s what you need to get started, but please don’t let it stop there.

Have you given or received gratitude at work in a memorable or otherwise impactful way? I’d love to hear your story – please share it below!

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About the Author

Julie is an executive with a proven track record for brand building and team building. She is skilled at leveraging disparate resources to unlock new insights and create human-centric strategies. She has held several client service roles in her career and is adept at working collaboratively to set clear goals and deliver on expectations.