Fostering a Culture of Appreciation: The Significance of Gratitude in the Workplace
November 23, 2023
Showing gratitude in the workplace is the secret sauce for creating a positive and productive workplace. It’s not just a fluffy feel-good thing – it’s a game-changer that boosts everyone’s mood, amps up team spirit, and helps the whole crew stay strong when things get crazy. Every employee deserves recognition for their contributions. Doing so will foster a supportive team environment characterized by kindness and gratitude. As the old saying goes, “A simple thank you goes a long way.”
Benefits of Gratitude in the Workplace
The impact of gratitude on employee well-being, stress reduction, and the development of resilience is profound. Francesca Gino and Adam Grant conducted a study illustrating the tangible benefits of expressing gratitude in a professional setting. Participants, after receiving a grateful note, were twice as likely to assist others when approached for help again.
Data from 15five, a performance management platform, highlights some of the benefits of gratitude in the workplace, including:
- Increased engagement: Genuine connections are made when employees feel acknowledged.
- Higher productivity: When employees experience appreciation and feel valued, their enthusiasm for work increases.
- Better retention: Employing a recognition strategy improves morale and cultivates employee loyalty.
- Greater motivation: Regular appreciation inspires employees to do even better.
- More satisfied customers: Happy employees equal happy customers.
- Stronger connections: Teams feel more connected when they receive positive feedback from both managers and coworkers.
Ways to Express Appreciation
Tailoring appreciation methods to the workplace environment is crucial. Email, Slack, or Teams messages may be suitable for hybrid or remote offices. For those not working online, in-person expressions, phone calls, or handwritten notes remain meaningful. The key is sincerity, irrespective of the chosen method.
Beyond expressing gratitude themselves, managers can create a culture where team members freely share appreciation. By modeling these behaviors and providing opportunities for expressing thanks, managers contribute to a workplace culture characterized by kindness and gratitude.
Consider some of these ideas for expressing gratitude in the workplace:
- Personalized Recognition: Managers can express appreciation by providing personalized recognition, acknowledging individual contributions and achievements in a way that resonates with each team member.
- Team Celebrations: Organizing team celebrations, whether in-person or virtual, to commemorate milestones, successes, or even small victories fosters a positive and appreciative team culture.
- Professional Development Opportunities: Demonstrating appreciation by investing in the professional growth of team members through training, workshops, or skill-building opportunities shows a commitment to their long-term success.
- Flexible Work Arrangements: Acknowledging the diverse needs of the team and offering flexible work arrangements, when possible, demonstrates an understanding of work-life balance and contributes to a more appreciative work environment.
- Meaningful Feedback: Providing constructive and meaningful feedback on a regular basis, highlighting specific accomplishments and areas of improvement, reinforces a manager’s recognition of the team’s efforts and commitment to their development.
Showing appreciation is a fundamental element of effective leadership and organizational success, creating a positive and supportive workplace culture that benefits both individuals and the overall team.
Source: 15five.com; greatplacetowork.com
By Heather Nezich, courtesy of SBAM-approved partner, ASE