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The Power of Gratitude

Make it rain with thanks!

Positive psychology studies consistently show that giving thanks for the everyday parts of your life will contribute to greater happiness. Something as easy as writing in a gratitude journal daily or joining a 30-day gratitude challenge raises personal awareness of the positive in your life. The observations may include things as simple as acknowledging a good piece of chocolate or giving thanks for a sunny afternoon. And research shows, these simple acts work. You can bring these same principles and outcomes from home to the workplace. Offering and encouraging acts of gratitude at work can counteract some of the disconnection employees feel as they recover from a “covid culture.” Furthermore, research shows that a simple thank you or acknowledgement of a job well done can significantly affect both parties involved: the receiver and the giver.


Most people can identify how receiving thanks benefits the receiver whether the appreciation arrives via verbal recognition, a physical note, or tangible reward. The receiver often feels satisfaction or a boost of confidence when someone else notices their work which increases their sense of belonging. “The Employee Experience Index” showed a large employee experience rating gap between employees that received recognition for their performance (83%) and those who did not (38%). Additionally, research shows that the praise does not have to come from a boss alone; peer-to-peer recognition packs just as much power! Recognition from colleagues may even mean more since this is who you spend much of your time with during office hours.


The giver also benefits from this positive transaction. For example, sharing gratitude tends to improve their relationships. It not only improves the connection with their coworker during good times, it also opens doors for either party to relay concerns during more difficult situations down the road and deal with adversity. The benefits have a ripple effective. Colleagues are more likely to partner with individuals who they have a relationship with already. Additionally, noticing the good in others leads to more positive feelings about the world around you. The recognition of others increases connectivity with your colleagues and encourages a feedback culture at work led by your example.


There are times when we hesitate from giving thanks to others. Maybe you are concerned the receiver of your thanks will be embarrassed or talk yourself out of sharing because you question how much your opinion matters. Professor Robert Emmons, author of The Psychology of Gratitude summed up these preconceived notions succinctly, “studies show that we’re likely to undervalue gratitude, underestimate its positive effect on others, and overestimate the awkwardness the recipients would feel.” So, stop overthinking and share your gratitude with your colleagues so you can both increase your happiness at work. Make gratitude a way of life rather than an occasional pitstop.


References

Giving Thanks can Make You Happier. (November 22, 2011). Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier

Kinne, A. (January 5, 2021). Recognition: The Heart of Working Human. Workhuman. https://www.workhuman.com/resources/globoforce-blog/making-work-human-recognition-the-heart-of-working-human

McQuald, M. (October 1, 2020). 3 Ways to Supercharge Gratitude. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/functioning-flourishing/202010/3-ways-supercharge-gratitude


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