Thanksgiving is a holiday most of us spend with friends and family and away from work, but the workplace is a great place get a head start on celebrating Thanksgiving — with benefits that last all year!
The workplace ranks last among places people express gratitude, even though everyone wants more appreciation on the job. A persistent but false perception that gratitude makes us appear vulnerable or “weak” keeps too many people feeling ungrateful and unappreciated at work.
In fact, gratitude feeds a thriving, happy and productive workplace culture. And what better time to promote workplace gratitude than at Thanksgiving?
Does your company have a plan for sharing workplace Thanksgiving gratitude? Whether you’re sharing gifts or hosting a pre-Thanksgiving lunch for employees, it’s a great opportunity to promote gratitude in action.
Read to find out how you can make your workplace Thanksgiving gratitude count even more — yes, even now at the last minute! — and one very specific technique for telling employees “Thanks” this Thanksgiving.
Don’t Wait for Gratitude to be “Real”
A must-read editorial in the New York Times SundayReview, “Choose to Be Grateful: It Will Make You Happier,” challenges the notion that gratitude only counts when it is organic and emotionally authentic.
Actually, waiting around for gratitude to come to you only perpetuates unhappiness.
Many studies have concluded that simply acting happy or grateful, regardless of true feelings, coaxes one’s brain into processing positive emotions and can actually make us happier and bring out the best in people around us, according contributing opinion writer and American Enterprise Institute president Arthur C. Brooks.
“Building the best life does not require fealty to feelings in the name of authenticity, but rather rebelling against negative impulses and acting right even when we don’t feel like it,” Brooks writes.
This has BIG implications in the workplace, where gratitude too often is forgotten or even actively discouraged. To jump-start a culture of gratitude may take some “faking” at first — and that’s just fine. Don’t worry, it won’t be long before feelings and expressions of gratitude come naturally.
Brooks identifies three types of gratitude:
- Interior Gratitude — the practice of giving thanks privately
- Exterior Gratitude — public expressions of appreciation
- Gratitude for “Useless Things” — making mental note of gratitude for the little things, like the smell of crisp autumn leaves or a song that evokes a happy memory.
“This Thanksgiving,” Brooks writes, “don’t express gratitude only when you feel it. Give thanks especially when you don’t feel it. Rebel against the emotional ‘authenticity’ that holds you back from your bliss.”
“If you want a truly happy holiday, choose to keep the ‘thanks’ in Thanksgiving, whether you feel like it or not.”
The 3-Part workplace Thanksgiving gratitude
Now what do you do with all that gratitude? Use Kevin Kruse’s guide to three-part thank-yous! This is the golden standard for giving thanks.
In the Forbes article “The Power of Three-Part Thank-Yous,” Kruse makes a distinction between “drive-by thanks” and the more sophisticated, effective three-part variety.
“Drive-by” thanks are quick acknowledgements of appreciation shared in passing. They can’t hurt, but they can feel perfunctory and impersonal. They also aren’t exactly drivers of employee engagement or retention. Spend just a little time to come up with a memorable “Thank You” that makes your recipient really feel appreciated:
- Actually Say “Thanks.” Don’t assume that it’s obvious or implicitly understood!
- Mention the Behavior or Achievement You Appreciate. “This is the thing you want more of. This is the thing you want others to know gets rewarded,” Kruse writes.
- Give It Value. How does the employee’s action impact your company’s value or growth?
This simple, three-step technique will help you give thanks holiday-time and anytime. It can be used at work, at home, anywhere. Kruse even uses it to thank his teenage son for taking out the garbage!
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at gThankYou! Thank you for reading. And to all our customers: thank you for being so wonderful to work with, year after year! Your continued loyalty inspires us every day to help you celebrate employees.
Learn more about harnessing the power of workplace gratitude in our popular (and free!) eBook, “Transform Your Workplace with Gratitude.” Click the image below and start transforming your workplace today!
About gThankYou, LLC
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