The holidays are busy and stressful for most people, especially those juggling work and family or work and school. The rush of year-end business operations and preparation for a new fiscal year, combined with kids’ days off from school, and holiday shopping can quickly get overwhelming. People run out of time, forget things, and spend a lot of time rushing around to take care of everything.
Gratitude is not always associated with the workplace unless there’s been a deliberate and sustained effort to create a culture of gratitude. Most of us reserve our feelings of gratitude at the holidays for family and friends. But gratitude in daily life should include workplace gratitude. Your colleagues all want to feel valued and appreciated just like family and friends. And let’s face it, most of us spend more time at work than at home.
Gratitude Affects Us Physically and Emotionally
A culture of gratitude has a measurable impact on a company’s bottom line and physical and mental well-being of those involved. It impacts performance, productivity, creativity, relationships, cooperation, and stress. Dr. Robert Emmons of the University of California, Davis, along with colleagues, studies gratitude in different ways and found gratitude benefits people physically, psychologically, and socially.
People who keep gratitude journals have stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, and are less bothered by aches and pains. They experience more optimism and happiness and more positive emotions. They feel less lonely and are more outgoing, helpful, and compassionate.
Researchers at the Institute for Heart Math found that gratitude and appreciation help synchronize brain and heart rhythms, creating greater physiological balance, mental clarity, and improved brain function.
Gratitude Affects Productivity
Harvard Medical School reports in “In Praise of Gratitude” that researchers at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania found that gratitude can affect productivity positively by 50 percent. The researchers noted that fundraising employees who received a pep-talk from the director along with expressions of gratitude for their efforts before the fundraising campaign made 50 percent more calls than employees who didn’t receive any message of thanks.
Gratitude Can Change Your Mind
Practicing workplace gratitude during the holidays helps you refocus from the negative to the positive by reflecting on what you have, rather than what you don’t have. Feelings of satisfaction and contentment grow as you regularly practice gratitude in any of the following ways:
- Writing thank-you notes – Build strong relationships and make yourself and someone else feel better with thank you notes or calls.
- Keeping a gratitude journal – Instead of just recounting the events of your day in a diary, reflect each day on what you have to be thankful for, how it affected you, and how you can cultivate gratitude.
- Sharing appreciation for colleagues – Let others know how thankful you are for their support, hard-work, expertise or whatever it is they do to make your life easier or more successful. You’ll both benefit from the sharing of gratitude.
- Count your blessings – Take a few minutes each day, in the morning or in the evening, to recall how you are blessed.
Cultivating gratitude and appreciation in the workplace produces benefits for the people experiencing it and the organization overall. Research shows positive outcomes of workplace gratitude include improved motivation, engagement, work relationships, communication, and trust. Unfortunately, a lot of workplace relationships are fear-based and cause negative feelings such as anger, jealousy, resentment, and mistrust. Implementing simple gratitude practices such as sincere thank you’s and training managers and supervisors to appreciate and recognize employee efforts has the opposite effect.
The power of gratitude is especially important when time is short and stress is high. Think about what workplace gratitude during the holidays can do for your working relationships as well as your physical and mental health. Sharing your gratitude in the workplace may just be the best gift you can give.
About gThankYou, LLC
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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