As we enjoy the Holiday season, many use this time of year to reflect on what they’re grateful for in life, be it family, friends, good health, or simply having a roof over your head — some even take to social media to post one thing they’re grateful for every day in November. While we gear up for the holiday season and for the end of the year, it’s a great time to tell your co-workers that you are grateful for their efforts, support, and hard work over the last year.
On average Americans spend about a third of their lives working, so it seems imperative to practice gratitude in the workplace. Scientists have extensively studied the mental benefits of gratitude, and unsurprisingly, they have concluded that expressing and receiving gratitude results in higher levels of happiness and satisfaction. In the workplace, showing and receiving gratitude on a regular basis results in higher productivity and overall happiness of employees, contributing to a better work culture. In a study by the Harvard Medical School, researchers found that a group of fundraisers were more successful after receiving gratitude and praise from their supervisor:
“Researchers at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania randomly divided university fund-raisers into two groups. One group made phone calls to solicit alumni donations in the same way they always had. The second group — assigned to work on a different day — received a pep talk from the director of annual giving, who told the fund-raisers she was grateful for their efforts. During the following week, the university employees who heard her message of gratitude made 50% more fund-raising calls than those who did not.”
The moral of the story? Now is the time to take a moment and recognize a co-worker for the work they do, or give them a pep talk when they need help and support – it could make a huge difference in their day and it will contribute to a more positive environment. If you make a habit of showing gratitude on a regular basis, it will be contagious, and your whole work environment will change for the better.