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Gratitude in the Workplace: Benefits and Examples

Practice gratitude in the workplace on a daily basis to promote compassion and empathy to your team and lead by example.

When gratitude is woven into the culture of an organization and demonstrated by both leaders and team members, it fosters cooperation and promotes compassion and empathy. Mood and morale both play fundamental roles in strengthening relationships in the workplace, and continuously expressing gratitude is one of the easiest ways to boost morale. 

In this article, we’ll dive into key insights that should be considered while expressing gratitude, as well as examples of gratitude in the workplace. 

The benefits of showing gratitude in the workplace 

When you lead by example and practice expressing gratitude in the workplace on a daily basis, that positivity will begin to spill over in a multitude of ways. Your teammates will feel valued, everyone will be more positive and energized, and you’ll have begun to create a culture that embraces and exudes gratitude. 

Other benefits of expressing gratitude include, but are not limited to: 

·       Boosted morale

·       Heightened happiness

·       Developed relationships 

·       Improved mental and physical health 

·       Reduced stress and feelings of discontent 

·       Improved self-esteem and boosted confidence 

·       Improved friendships and working relationships 

Delightful one-on-one’s

Having one-on-one’s is a great place to share positive feedback and write down anything you don’t want to forget in a meeting agenda. Try using a tool like Fellow!

Key things to consider when practicing gratitude in the workplace 

1     Lead by example

If you want to make showing gratitude the norm and create a culture in which everyone feels comfortable and appreciated, you should lead by example. If you take the time to give regular shoutouts to teammates and express your gratitude for a job well done, your teammates will begin to do the same. 

2     Show appreciation

There are numerous ways you can show your appreciation, and the easiest is to simply say “thank you” and give credit where credit is due. If someone does something you appreciate, take the time to genuinely thank them. You can even take it one step further by giving them a shoutout on a public channel! 

If you’re not sure how to show your appreciation, try sending a Slack memo, leaving a voice note, or even offering a handwritten note for a more personal approach. What’s most important is that you take the time to address your teammates’ effort, no matter how big or small. 

3     Be compassionate

If you aren’t compassionate in your approach, it may get in the way of your delivery. Being compassionate and genuine while expressing gratitude is the only way you’ll make your employees feel valued and equally grateful. If you’re compassionate in your approach, your employees will begin to do the same. Compassion creates kindness, and leading by example is the easiest way to spread this message throughout your entire organization. 

4    Remember that preferences differ per person

Not everyone likes to receive gratitude in the same way. Some teammates may prefer an intimate “thank you” during a weekly one-on-one meeting, whereas others may prefer a public shoutout via a channel like Slack. Take the time to learn what matters most to your teammates. Your gratitude will mean that much more when you deliver it in a way that speaks most to them. If you aren’t sure what their preference is, consider checking in and chatting about it at the end of your one-on-one. Have an open and honest conversation and get to know their preferences. They’ll appreciate your effort and this approach will demonstrate empathy. 

5     Integrate gratitude into the culture 

Consistency is key, and you can’t expect to build a culture of thanks overnight. If you want to weave gratitude into the fibers of your organization, you have to be consistent in your delivery. Be consistent in your approach and practice giving gratitude on a daily basis. Before you know it, your habits will spread throughout your team and eventually the entire organization. 

Examples of gratitude in the workplace

1     Offering personal development opportunities

Offering personal development opportunities within the workplace is a great way to show your high-performing teammates that you value their contributions. Employees will be more inclined to stay with an organization if they feel valued and have the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally.  Personal development opportunities like continuous mentorship, online courses, networking events, and conferences are all great tools that can be used to show gratitude for your employees. 

2     Saying “thank you” often

This tip may seem small, but this small act of kindness will have a massive lasting effect. Managers or leaders often underestimate the value of a simple “thank you” when in reality, it makes a huge difference. Praising your employees and thanking them when they complete a task or send something your way is a simple practice you can implement on a daily basis. 

Additionally, being thankful and expressing gratitude helps improve our working relationships. Not only does expressing thanks heighten your teammates’ moods, but people who regularly acknowledge things they’re thankful for also experience more positive emotions and express more compassion and kindness towards others than those who don’t.

3     Recognizing efforts even when things go wrong

Sometimes things go awry. Instead of making your teammates feel bad or ignoring their efforts, take the time to acknowledge their effort. Just because something didn’t go as planned, it doesn’t mean there wasn’t a lot of great work done. Take the time to praise your team and focus on what went right. This will make all the difference when it comes to collaborating together on future projects. 

4     Treating your team to lunch 

Taking your teammates to lunch is a great way to express your gratitude for all of their hard work, and it’s an even better way to show them you really care. Taking them out to lunch not only allows you to express your gratitude, but it also creates an environment in which you can strengthen your personal and professional relationships. Employees that feel appreciated and valued will be filled with a sense of pride, which will then begin to create a spillover effect. 

5     Offering time off 

Employees who aren’t energized and passionate will begin to feel unfulfilled or undervalued. A great way to combat this issue is to offer time off and genuinely mean it. Employees sometimes feel nervous asking for their pre-approved time off. They may feel stressed, awkward, or like their manager will be disappointed in them. It’s extremely important to create an environment where your teammates feel comfortable enough to ask for their hard-earned time off. If you sense that someone on your team may need some time off, simply offer. Speaking up and letting them know they deserve a break or even a vacation is a great way to practice gratitude while expressing your thanks for all of their hard work. 

6     Giving shout-outs

Giving shoutouts is one of the easiest things you can to express your gratitude in the workplace, and it goes a long way with your teammates. If you aren’t sure where to start, simply allocate a few minutes at the beginning or end of meetings to give a shoutout to someone who is doing a phenomenal job. If you make this the norm, your teammates will begin to do the same and before you know it, you’ll have created a culture that prioritizes giving thanks. 

You can also give shoutouts asynchronously! Sharing a shoutout in a shared Slack channel is a quick and easy way to express your gratitude, and everyone has the ability to weigh in and congratulate the recipient! You can also encourage your teammates to add reactions and share their own shoutouts via your shared channels for an added boost of positivity. 

7     Giving gratitude during one-on-ones

One-on-one meetings offer a unique opportunity to express gratitude and strengthen relationships. If you’re a manager, chances are you host weekly or even bi-weekly one-on-ones with your direct reports. This meeting is the perfect time to let them know just how much you appreciate their efforts. 

Get ready to practice gratitude in the workplace 

As a leader or manager within your organization, you should make expressing your gratitude a priority! The benefits of doing so are bountiful, with two of the most important being improving day-to-day morale and driving organizational success. Teammates that receive gratitude at work are often much more engaged at work when compared to those who do not. In short, methodical, genuine, and consistent employee recognition leads to higher levels of engagement, satisfaction, and contentment. 

You now have the tools, resources, and fundamental knowledge to implement gratitude in the workplace! The more you practice, the easier it becomes. Building a consistent regime where you prioritize gratitude will only lead to success and will eventually have a spillover effect on the rest of your teammates. 


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About the author

Hannah Ross

Hannah Ross is an experienced content creator and digital strategist with a demonstrated history of working with SaaS startups and technical founders to develop and manage scalable digital marketing campaigns. As a Social Media and Content Marketing Lead in the tech space, Hannah is incredibly passionate about solving complex marketing problems with innovative solutions.

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