A survey of 2,000 Americans found that people are “less likely to feel or express gratitude at work than anyplace else.” Yeesh. In an article for Berkeley’s Greater Good, Jeremy Adam Smith discusses five ways leaders can reverse this trend.
Lead the Appreciation
First of all, change starts at the top, meaning the leaders themselves need to get much more vocal about expressing thanks to employees. Maybe even make asking new employees how they like to be thanked into a piece of standard new hire protocol. Second, remember that every business and industry has its “thankless” jobs—and then thank the people working those jobs. Whether it is the copywriter or the janitorial staff, everyone plays a part in business success and deserves recognition.
Third, aim for “quality over quantity” with gratitude, in that people robotically and mindlessly saying “thanks” after every interaction can get old. Instead, employees should be encouraged to recognize each other’s great work and give specific compliments as situations call for them. Perhaps the biggest tip Smith offers is to actively create opportunities for people to express gratitude. One example given of this is to create an office “gratitude wall,” where people can post sticky notes calling out specific people who did something nice or helpful for them.
The last suggestion is actually a piece of advice more than anything, but Smith notes that a business with a strong culture of gratitude is better prepared to undergo stressful times. This is because people already feel supported. Work cannot get too terrible in their minds if they always feel like their colleagues are a security blanket.
You can view the original article here: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/five_ways_to_cultivate_gratitude_at_work