Happy Pi Day! Today, March 14, is a celebration of the fascinating and mysterious mathematical constant known as “pi,” or 3.14159…, the never-ending number that results from calculating the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. For mathematicians, Pi Day is a time to honor and explore a number that is as frustrating as it is revealing of the world around us. For the rest of us, it’s a day to celebrate mathematicians and eat pie. (Do you think it’s a coincidence that 3.14 backwards spells pie? We think not.) Sharing a pie with your workplace is just as fun as eating it, and when it comes to gratitude, it turns out you actually can have your pie and eat it, too.
So, in the spirit of celebrating numbers, we’ve gathered some statistics to motivate and inspire you about the awesome power of workplace gratitude.
Despite being roundly praised as a method of engagement, workplace gratitude is actually pretty rare. “The workplace ranks dead last among the places people express gratitude, from homes and neighborhoods to places of worship. Only 10 percent of adults say thanks to a colleague every day, and just 7 percent express gratitude daily to a boss,” according to a 2012 Wall Street Journal article by Sue Shellenbarger.
It’s a shame gratitude isn’t more widely practiced in the workplace, because it actually pays off in tangible ways (this is where the having and eating your pie comes in!). Practicing gratitude actually increases your own happiness by 25 percent, regardless of its effect on the recipient or those around you, according to a Huffington Post blog by Ocean Robbins on “The Neuroscience of Why Gratitude Makes Us Healthier.”
In the workplace, there are also financial payoffs to sharing your gratitude. If you’re not thanking employees — and thereby helping keep employees happy — it’s probably costing you. A study by researcher Thomas Wright at Kansas State University found that psychologically healthy employees consistently exhibit higher job performance, with company savings tied to employee well-being, according to a Science Daily report, “Happy Employees Are Critical For An Organization’s Success.”
“In a sample of management personnel with average salaries in the $65,000 range, [Wright] found that being psychologically distressed could cost the organization roughly $75 a week per person in lost productivity. With 10 employees that translates to $750 per week in performance variance; for 100 employees the numbers are $7,500 per week or $390,000 per year,” the Science Daily article explained. (Emphasis added.)
In the end, Wright found that the possibility of turnover was 57 percent smaller for any one-unit increase in well-being.
If these numbers don’t sway you, consider this real-life example of how gratitude completely changed a workplace dynamic. In the Wall Street Journal article mentioned earlier, “Showing Appreciation at the Office? No, Thanks,” writer Sue Shellenbarger describes how one employee convinced her boss to show his gratitude, and what effect this had in the long-term.
The employee had bad experiences with unappreciative bosses in the past, so she stopped by her current boss’ office one day and told him she needed him to recognize her contributions, adding that she would stop by every Friday thereafter to recount her accomplishments.
The boss reflected later, Shellenbarger writes, “that as a former Air Force pilot, he hadn’t needed much praise and ‘didn’t have a natural aptitude’ for handing it out to others.” But the employee’s plea awakened him to the reality that other people may need more encouragement and gratitude to flourish. He went on to become a great supervisor who inspired intense loyalty, the employee said, and both agreed they had a great workplace relationship.
So what are you waiting for? Go buy some pie and share it in your workplace for an unexpected chance to engage and share your gratitude!
For more insights into the value of gratitude, download our FREE Guide to Workplace Gratitude. Click below to get started.
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Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.
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