How to foster a culture of gratitude in the workplace, and how it can affect the bottom line. Do you have a grateful workplace? Do leaders and co-workers show feelings of appreciation at work through compliments and saying thank you?
What about your OWN behaviour: do you acknowledge your own coworkers’ contributions? Say thank you when a stranger holds the door open for you? Thank your boss for his understanding when he let you leave a little early the other day, to pick up your sick kid from daycare?
Basic compassion and the kindness of saying “thank you” is often overlooked as a tool of personal development in the workplace. But saying thanks is a way to show others that you care about them, and that their contribution is important. Even better, if someone has worked long hours and weekends on a big project, thanking them and showing appreciation for their commitment to excellence will go a long way, for such a small effort!
How Gratitude in the Workplace Can Affect the Bottom Line
Gratitude in the workplace can affect the bottom line in the following ways:
• Can decrease turnover (appreciated workers are more likely not to look around for another job if their merit is being recognized);
• Can increase productivity (happy workers are productive workers);
• Behaviour that is rewarded has a high likelihood of being repeated;
• Can decrease customer complaints.
If clients are thanked for their business, they will come back, as they were treated well and felt their business was appreciated. They also might move business to where they have experienced gratitude in the workplace, and in a slow economy, whose business do you think they’ll think of first?
For best personal development books on developing attitudes of gratitude, click here.
How to Build up a Culture of Gratitude in the Workplace: Gratitude Training 101
1) Smile & show sincere appreciation (try Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People, book review here on our Top 10 List of Best Personal Development Books).
2) Compliment instead of complaining…what was done RIGHT rather than focusing on what was done WRONG
3) Appreciate the intent behind the gesture, even if the outcome wasn’t 100% on target
4) Be consistent in your approach, and make this an ongoing effort, you’ll see results before you know it!
5) If the budget is tight…words will do the job, even if a bonus isn’t affordable
6) If you would like to receive gratitude, be open and honest about it, instead of complaining to a friend or co-worker. Sometimes, people get caught up in their own worlds, and need a gentle reminder communicated to them.
7) Be gracious with accepting gratitude as well…it may be uncomfortable at first, especially if you’re not used to it. But, practice in the mirror if you need to. Can you imagine the effect if someone’s compliment is not received well? A great tip: just smile, and nod if the “cat gets your tongue”.
The key with gratitude is that it will only work if it’s sincere…you’ve probably experienced when someone “lies” to you…you know it, right? You FEEL it. Therefore, the appreciation must be authentic, or it will not be effective, and will undermine morale.
Where to begin? Start with yourself! Do you have a positive thinking attitude ? You probably know yourself that receiving positive feedback on a job well done makes you feel great! So, if that’s what you’d like from your boss or co-workers, start giving first...remember, one of the first laws of the universe is “Energy returns to it’s source of origination”. Give first, and then you’ll receive. (For more on Universal Laws, click here .)
Even if you aren’t in the habit of doing this...start small, and build from there. And by all means, if someone thinks of you, thank them, and return favours where you can.
Then, as you change your behaviours, and cultivate gratitude in the workplace, get ready to see your everyday world transformed to an environment of empowerment, enthusiasm and satisfaction!
“You only have to until you want to, then you don’t have to anymore”. - author unknown