Appreciation is a well-documented key to employee happiness, so why isn’t it more prevalent?
According to HubSpot’s Jami Oetting, we’re too distracted by the fast pace of today’s workplace.
“We might have the thought to tell a salesperson she did a good job, [but] we typically forget to execute on the idea and quickly move on to the next thing,” Oetting writes in her blog post “The Power of Praise on Employee Happiness.”
That’s why it’s so important to implement a program that systemizes employee recognition. Letting employees know they’re appreciated is too vital to business success to leave up to chance or “when we get to it.”
The best employee engagement initiatives invest in holistic gratitude — one that includes compassionate language, mindfulness training and more. It’s about more than saying “Thanks!”
Building a culture of gratitude has a profound, lasting impact on employee happiness. If you want to build employee happiness, start with gratitude: it’s the seed from which happiness grows.
Read on to learn how gratitude fuels workplace happiness.
Download Your Free Guide to “Transforming Your Workplace with Gratitude” to start building your culture of appreciation today!
Employees Want to be Happy — and Gratitude Makes It Happen!
Desiring happiness is part of the human condition, but trying to force happiness usually backfires. Chasing happiness as a goal unto itself can actually lead to unhappiness, according to Cathy Gulli’s Macleans article, “The Secret to Happiness? Stop Trying to Be Happy.”
The problem with pursuing happiness is that people “score a goal, and rather than enjoy it, [they] change the goalposts,” psychologist Tayyab Rashid tells Gulli.
But faking happiness isn’t the answer, either.
In a study of employees whose jobs demand frequent and courteous interactions, such as bus drivers, Michigan State University researchers found that faking happiness has a detrimental effect.
On days when the employees engaged in fake smiling, known as “surface acting,” their moods deteriorated and they withdrew from work, according to a New York Times report on the research.
“Trying to suppress negative thoughts, it turns out, may have made those thoughts even more persistent,” writes Times’ Tara Parker-Pope.
Now here’s where it gets interesting. The opposite of “surface acting” is “deep acting,” when a person generates authentic smiles through positive thoughts. On days when the employees in the study “tried to display smiles through deeper efforts — by actually cultivating pleasant thoughts and memories — their overall moods improved and their productivity increased.”
The takeaway? Authentic happiness isn’t a matter of luck. It takes effort. And it can only be enjoyed by seeking out and practicing gratitude.
The results are measurable. Practicing gratitude bumps up happiness levels by around 25 percent, according to HuffPo’s “The Business Value of Gratitude” and research psychologist and author Robert Emmons.
Gratitude is how happiness grows! By taking the time to practice mindful, positive thinking, your capacity for gratitude increases — and, as a result, your happiness.
How Expressing Gratitude Builds Employee Happiness
We self-sabotage our happiness and others’ happiness when we don’t take the time to articulate and celebrate gratitude.
“Rather than taking happy events and success for granted, continuing to remind ourselves why they made us feel good in the first place makes us happier for longer,” according to Happy+Well‘s eBook “10 Brain-Friendly Habits for Happiness and Wellbeing.”
There are the big, obvious wins to celebrate — exceeded quarterly goals, exemplary performance, signing on new clients — but the little, everyday stuff counts, too. Can’t think of anything? Start with daily mindfulness and keep notes in a gratitude journal.
Practicing gratitude day-to-day actually makes us aware of the good things that happen, according to Happy+Well: “Continuing to appreciate positive changes in life — such as a new job, friendship or goal achieved — counteracts the tendency to revert back to previous levels of happiness after the situation has passed.”
Meaningful, effective workplace celebrations highlight employee appreciation first and foremost — so, no matter occasion, be sure to communicate your gratitude to employees. Their happiness (and your company’s success) are at stake!
Want to learn more about building a culture of happiness and appreciation?
Download our free eBook, “Transform Your Workplace With Gratitude” and learn the secrets to recruiting and retaining a superior workforce, increasing profits and building a culture of appreciation and happiness!
About gThankYou, LLC
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