Holiday gratitude in the workplace can be challenging to sustain throughout the season, but with a little encouragement, it can thrive!
Too often, employees are distracted by family vacations, stressed out by extra work and worried about managing long gift lists.
After the Thanksgiving dishes are cleared, it’s tempting to become a Grinch and give in to “holiday fatigue.”
But you and your colleagues reap big rewards when you keep holiday gratitude going ’til New Year’s (and beyond!). By encouraging the spirit of the season, you’re helping coworkers and employees keep holiday stresses in perspective.
A culture of workplace gratitude also helps employees be happier, healthier and more productive, according to Greater Good Science Center web editor Jeremy Adam Smith.
“‘Thank you’ doesn’t cost a dime, and it has measurably beneficial effects. In a series of four experiments, psychologists Adam Grant and Francesca Gino found that ‘thank you’ from a supervisor gave people a strong sense of both self-worth and self-efficacy,” Smith writes.
Expressing gratitude has amazing side-effects. The study found that people who practice regular gratitude “become more trusting with each other, and more likely to help each other out,” according to Smith.
Don’t let holiday gratitude evaporate after Thanksgiving
Don’t let the spirit of the season pass by your workplace. Follow these tips to keep holiday gratitude top-of-mind in the weeks after Thanksgiving.
1. Keep Black Friday and other holiday sales in perspective.
This week alone, you’ve probably received at least 100 email blasts and dozens of flyers advertising Black Friday deals. It’s fun — until it isn’t. The intense focus on shopping and consumption can eventually get exhausting, so limit your daily intake.
Don’t let yourself get too caught up in the how of gift-giving. Remember why we give gifts at the holiday season: to express our gratitude and celebrate the season. Reinforce this perspective with your colleagues. Let them know how much you value them as people and co-workers, and encourage them to practice self-care during the holiday season, such as getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals, etc.
2. Send thank-you notes early.
Gratitude is a two-way street. It generates good feelings for the giver and recipient alike, as the Greater Good Science Center highlights.
If you feel the holiday blahs coming on, try writing an early thank-you note for a gift you’ve already received — or simply to thank someone for being who they are and for doing what they do every day! For tips on crafting thank-you notes that stand out, check out our blog post “7 Steps to Writing Great Employee Thank-You Notes.”
3. Listen to music with messages of gratitude.
Get your team in the spirit with a playlist of upbeat, thankful songs. How about Andrew Gold’s “Thank You For Being a Friend” (and the Golden Girls’ theme-song version), ABBA’s “Thank You For the Music,” or Earth Wind & Fire’s “Gratitude”?
Take song suggestions, and get more ideas with TimeOut New York’s “20 Best Thanksgiving Songs” and Care2’s “8 Songs About Gratitude.”
4. Make sharing holiday gratitude fun for employees.
There’s a big expectation of gratitude during the holidays, and that pressure is daunting.
Take the pressure off by making gratitude fun and easy. Stress to your employees that holiday gratitude isn’t about expensive gifts and lavish parties. It’s about enjoying each others’ company and sharing appreciation with one another.
Put up a blackboard in a common area where employees can draw pictures with chalk or write short thank-you’s to each other. When the pressure’s off to make a big show of it, gratitude comes easier! For more concrete examples of how companies around the world are making gratitude fun for employees, check out our blog post “5 Mini Case Studies to Inspire Workplace Gratitude.”
5. Encourage supervisors to take the lead on sharing holiday gratitude.
Employees mimic the tone, attitude and behavior of their bosses, so be sure your supervisors are well-versed in gratitude, comfortable with sharing it freely and know to say “thank you” first. Help them get comfortable with sharing gratitude by following our “7 Steps to a Culture of Gratitude.”
Studies have shown that, ironically, many people are still hesitant to share gratitude at work for fear of appearing vulnerable — even while they secretly crave gratitude.
Being the “gratitude instigator” takes bravery! Reassure supervisors that they’ll get a good reaction from employees. Everyone loves to be appreciated. Once your supervisors crack the silence on gratitude, it’ll grow exponentially and spread.
Keep holiday gratitude thriving now and even after the New Year. For an in-depth guide to building a vibrant, everyday culture of workplace gratitude, download our FREE eBook, “Transforming Your Workplace with Gratitude.” You’ll be amazed at how easy it is.
About gThankYou, LLC
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