The Mindful Leadership Blog

Just In! Why You Need an Attitude of Gratitude

September 7th, 2017

What’s hot?

People are less likely to feel or express gratitude at work than anyplace else.*

So what?

Leaders are missing out on the benefits of expressing gratitude at work. Two recent studies**reveal that on-the-job gratitude helps people:

• Feel more positive emotions
• Relish good experiences
• Deal with adversity
• Work harder
• Build strong relationships
• Improve their health
• Trust each other more and become more likely to help each other.

Wow! That’s exactly what leaders striving to build a positive work culture aim to achieve.

What to do?

Banish ingrateful thinking such as “they should be grateful for a job” or “why should I thank someone for doing their job.” Instead, reflect on what some people need to do just to get to work – bathing, dressing, feeding and delivering children to day care; attending to aging parents; taking public transportation; and numerous other responsibilities before they even appear at work. A few words of gratitude – Thanks for your efforts today, or I appreciate having you on our team or Thanks. You rock! – generate positive emotions.

Say it when you see it. When you see employees helping each other, expressing gratitude to customers, or even saying “thank you,” praise their behaviors. Be specific so people will see it matters to you.

Adopt the Jimmy Fallen habit. Send a handwritten thank you note. It is a small gesture that means a lot to people.

Use gratitude lavishly. It is one of the resources over which you have complete control. No one is monitoring your gratitude budget. And, keep in mind, that there is absolutely no research indicating that you can overdo it. Test it. When have you ever gone home at the end of a work day thinking “I’ve had it up to here with gratitude for my efforts. I’m sick and tired of my boss expressing appreciation for my efforts!”

*John Templeton Study released earlier this year
**Grant & Gino Study and University of PA Wharton School Study

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