How to Show Gratitude in the Workplace

As positive COVID-19 cases increase throughout the nation, Thanksgiving celebrations in the United States may look a little different this year. Some people will carry on as they always have; others may eschew large gatherings and celebrate with smaller groups or only those with whom they live. Regardless, the holiday affords all of us an excellent opportunity to take stock of what we are thankful for and to express gratitude for our many blessings. 

This is also a good time to reflect on how we can more effectively show gratitude in our place of employment. We have discussed before why it is beneficial to develop an attitude of gratitude at work, but we should additionally consider how we express thanks to our colleagues and what we can do to make such expressions more meaningful. Doing so will improve the workplace environment, boost morale among employees, and ultimately make the business more productive. The following five tips will help us accomplish this.

1. Be Sincere

Authenticity is perhaps the most important aspect of being grateful. Heartfelt expressions of thanks are welcomed by those to whom they are expressed and have an uplifting effect. The opposite is true if the gesture is perceived to be insincere. Inauthentic praise or thanks may come off as patronizing and can be deflating. Therefore, make sure that your gratitude is genuine. 

2. Begin by Giving Thanks

Start your workday or meetings by sharing what you are thankful for with your coworkers and having them do likewise. This simple act of public thanksgiving can provide some great benefits. For one, acknowledging our blessings in such a way can relieve stress and worry to the point that it may even have a positive physiological effect on the participants. Furthermore, this type of group sharing is likely to build stronger personal bonds among associates and improve the workplace culture. 

3. Get Personal

In addition to showing gratitude collectively, it is important to display your thankfulness for specific individuals and actions. Share a personal thank you with your most reliable performers in private conversation. Show your appreciation for someone through a nice handwritten letter or card. (While emails can serve this purpose too, letters and cards are usually viewed as more personal and heartfelt, so they are more likely to be seen as meaningful by the recipients.) Consider buying your coworker a small gift as a token of appreciation for a job well done. However you decide to communicate your gratefulness for your colleagues’ efforts, be sure to specify exactly what it is that you are grateful for so they have a clear understanding of why they are valued. 

4. Share the Spotlight

Every successful organization has people who do essential tasks while flying under the radar, and it is important to recognize the necessary work they do in order to build morale and foster cohesion within the team. Routinely highlight the vital roles of these unsung heroes by singing their praises in meetings (making them unsung no more), offering awards for outstanding performance (such as Employee of the Month awards), and establishing message boards or platforms where staff members can herald the positive contributions of others. Frequently giving credit where credit is due will help unite team members and establish the requisite tone needed to maintain a smoothly functioning operation. 

5. Compensate Accordingly

Perhaps nothing speaks louder to employees than the level of compensation they receive for their work. Human beings need incentives to work hard and to strive for success, so be sure to fairly compensate them according to the quality of services they provide. All the thanks and recognition in the world will ring hollow to a person who experiences a pay cut or who is continually passed over for promotions despite being a valuable, highly qualified asset to the company. Offering avenues for advancement, fair pay, and good benefits will keep associates from feeling underappreciated, and it will help the business attract and retain industry talent.

Showing thankfulness in the workplace is extremely beneficial, and knowing how to ingrain an attitude of gratitude into your company’s culture can help it reach heights that have been hitherto unattainable. 

During this Thanksgiving season, take time to reflect on the blessings in your life and the people who mean the most to you. This includes the people with whom you work, so consider how you can meaningfully share your appreciation for them with sincerity and authentic affection. 

Leadership Excellence can help your organization develop a positive, thriving culture. Contact us today to learn how we can help take your business to the next level with leadership training and team development programs tailored towards your specific needs.