It’s rare to gain insight to employee happiness in the workplace.
Australian psychologist Timothy Sharp, of the Happiness Institute recently asked 50 people what they consider to be the top three things that contributed to happiness at work. Their answers provide very valuable information to HR managers.
While I won’t rehash all five things Sharp outlines as steps to happiness at work, number three in particular struck me as relevant: Give Thanks
“Employees want to be valued as members of a team and organization. But they also want to be told, frequently and appropriately, that they are valued, as people. They want to be thanked and appreciated for their accomplishments. When managers and colleagues openly congratulate employees for their wins or efforts, it makes everyone happier.”
Sharp explains that this response is consistent with a great deal of research into what he terms the “social and emotional benefits of gratitude.” University of California-Davis psychologist Robert Emmons discusses this concept in his book, Thanks!.
He explains gratitude as a way of life, and provides tips on how to practice it in our everyday lives arguing that it enhances our sense of self-worth, while at the same time strengthening social ties. Emmons continues his study of expressing thanks, which he calls the “forgotten factor” in happiness research, saying that it increases the happiness of both giver and receiver.
Sounds like required reading for anyone interested in boosting workplace happiness…and maybe the rest of your life, too.
Rick Kiley is President of gThankYou, LLC, based in Madison, WI. gThankYou® Certificates of Gratitude™ are one way savvy companies demonstrate commitment to valued employees. The company is best known for its Turkey Gift Certificates, Ham Gift Certificates, and Grocery Gift Cards.
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