It’s the season of thankfulness, and while we can all typically list things we’re grateful for, how many of those are related to the workplace? A study from the John Templeton Foundation found that work often lands on the bottom of gratitude lists. However, research shows practicing gratitude at work can help you build strong relationships with coworkers, improves your sense of belonging, decreases workplace toxicity, and increases employee engagement.
As we prepare for the Thanksgiving week ahead (and beyond, of course), here are three ways to cultivate workplace gratitude.
Recognize Others First
Lifting others is a great way to practice gratitude in the workplace. For example, when you and your team complete a project, a coworker helps you succeed, or your manager provides you with a development opportunity, be quick to recognize those individuals and express how grateful you are for them.
You can send them a handwritten “thank you” note, share what they did at a company or team meeting, or if your organization has recognition software like Bonusly, reward them there. Taking the time to recognize others first will help you practice gratitude, enhance team dynamics, and creates a culture of thankfulness.
If you want to practice gratitude and grow from it, you’ll need to be genuine and sincere. Others will easily decipher if the appreciation you’re showing them is superficial and will fall flat.
For example, avoid praising a coworker with a backhanded compliment like “thanks for fixing that Excel sheet for me, but next time could you ask me first?” It’s also important not to only show gratitude to others when things are difficult or to get your coworkers to help with your workload. People will quickly catch on if your praise feels forced or only comes when you need something from them.
Practice Gratitude When Things Don’t Go to Plan
It’s easy to practice gratitude when things are going well or you’ve gotten kudos from your manager, but it’s vital to focus on gratefulness when things don’t go to plan. If you or your team encounters a challenge during a project, practicing gratitude can turn the obstacle into an opportunity.
Gather your team and debrief on the issue. What has gone well so far? What could be improved going forward? Reframing the challenge into a learning opportunity can bring the team together and give you a chance to recognize others for their contributions and successes so far in the project. Collaborating with your coworkers will also help solution on how to move forward – enhancing team dynamics and building strong ties leading to future success.
Expressing gratitude at work can go a long way in improving company culture, building team relationships, increasing employee engagement, and boosting your overall job satisfaction. To practice gratitude in the workplace, be sincere in your thanks, recognize others first, and remember to be grateful even when things don’t go to plan. Bring appreciation to the forefront in your workplace and encourage others to do the same – then see how it positively impacts overall morale in your organization.
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