According to a 2015 Wall Street Journal article, receiving gratitude at work is one of the best motivators. According to the same article, only about 20% of employees feel they’re receiving the gratitude they would like.
Keeping that statistic in mind, here are some thoughts on why you should bring more gratitude into the office, and how to do it:
1. Take it top-down
If you want to signal a change in the culture of your company, a good place to start is at the top. If your director, CEO, president, or whomever is signing the checks starts giving out “thank you’s” on the regular, you can bet that it’ll catch on down the management chain.
2. Make the thankless jobs thankful jobs
There are plenty of people in your office who do small tasks that go unnoticed. Your trash bin gets emptied. The restrooms get cleaned. The mail gets delivered. Handing out some thanks for these tasks can go a long way toward making those who do them feel like they’re more than just background scenery, but instead are a valuable part of your company. Hint: they really are!
People can smell insincerity from around the block. Offering lip-service gratitude won’t cut it. When giving thanks for hard work, make sure that it’s specific to the individual being thanked.
4. Make room for gratitude
A good way to signal that gratitude is going to be part of the culture to stay is to make space for it. A cork board, white board, or other public space dedicated to offering public thanks shows the organization that this is something that you value.
5. Give thanks for rainy days
It’s easy to give thanks when the sun is shining, but if gratitude is really going to be part of your culture, it has to be done on the rainy days, too. Even when dealings don’t go your way, make an effort to say “That didn’t work out how we wanted, but we tried our hardest. Thanks for your effort. Now what did we learn to make it happen next time?”
6. Take away ulterior motives
When making changes in the office, it’s natural to try to incentivize the behavior you want to occur. In this case: don’t. If there’s a prize for giving thanks, it’ll make the whole exercise feel insincere. With gratitude, the thanks is its own reward.
7. It really is the thought that counts
Some people are better than others at showing gratitude, so when that gruff old factory employee makes an effort to gripe less than normal, that might be his way of trying to show gratitude. When taking on a culture of thanks, make an extra effort to pay attention to the intentions of your employees, and encourage them to grow in their new habits.
8. Learn to accept thanks
If gratitude wasn’t part of your company culture previously, there might be an unforeseen road-block. It can be hard for some people to know how to accept thanks and praise. Don’t get discouraged if gratitude in the office feels awkward at first. Teach your employees that it’s perfectly OK to respond to gratitude with smile and a simple “Thanks for noticing.”
9. Thanks for making it possible
One group of people we may inadvertently be forgetting to thank, though it seems obvious, is our customers. How many transactions do we go through on a daily basis without giving a sincere “thanks?” Your customers will notice, however, and their loyalty will improve, when you take time to sincerely thank them for keeping your company running.
10. Practice gratitude
Literally. Just like every other habit, it will take time, mindfulness, and repetition for gratitude to become part of your every-day culture. Give it the attention it deserves, though, and it’ll become a fulfilling part of your company that will improve employee morale and retention.
That’s this October’s Wellness in 10! Please accept our big, warm THANKS to all of you for reading, and being a part of the National Wellness Institute! You all are an important part of our organization, and we sincerely appreciate your dedication to the wellness of your companies, communities, and selves. Have a great October! If you have any comments, please feel free to leave them below, or send us a message on Facebook, LinkedIn , or Twitter.