Practicing Gratitude in the Workplace


Many people have the thought that, because employees are being paid to do their jobs, whenever someone does something for you in the workplace, it isn’t necessary to thank them.  However, research has shown that people who feel grateful for good things in their life are more even tempered, happier, and feel better supported by others.  Grateful people are also less likely to burn out, even if they’re in a high stress position.  However, even though employees in a 2013 survey said they feel better when someone thanked them for something, and that their own mood improved when they thanked someone else, 60% of workers don’t express gratitude to their colleagues.  The survey also found that 81% of workers would work harder for a more grateful boss.

So how can you help spread appreciation and gratitude around your workplace?  Try the following tips, no matter what position you’re in.

  • We tend to keep an eye out for when people are doing something wrong, but make a conscious effort to spot the good things others around you are doing, and thank them for it.
  • Make sure you’re specific with your appreciation; mention exactly what that person did that makes you appreciate them.
  • Keep in mind that the success of higher ups is largely due to the whole team. Make sure your team knows that you are grateful to be able to learn from them, and that you’re happy to be able to share your knowledge with them.
  • Make sure you’re providing all the tools and training you can to your employees; they’ll notice, and appreciate that you’re investing time and effort into them.
  • Practice gratitude sharing with your team whenever you get together. Have each member of the team tell the rest something they’re grateful for.
  • Take time at the beginning or end of each day to write down a few things that you’re grateful for that day. Showing gratitude can take practice, and it’ll be easier to do if you get in the habit.

Whatever way you try to spread gratitude around your workplace, just remember not to force it.  If someone isn’t grateful for something, take time to dig into why they feel unhappy at work.  Also remember the quality of the thanks you give people is better than saying an insincere thank you all the time.