The Power of Gratitude
When we feel emotions of gratitude from within, it seems as if negative emotions lose their authority over us. We are overcome with joy, happiness, and appreciation. Bringing this energy into the workplace in a mindful and consistent manner has monumental effects on the wellbeing of a company, from the health of the individual employees to the productivity of the organization.
The wonderful effects of gratitude have been expressed in study results time and time again, yet some organizations have difficulty implementing this powerful practice. In an environment that revolves around promotions and numerical reports, the saying “see good, do good” has a considerable effect. If employees see or receive notions of gratitude from their bosses, they will be more likely to express their own gratitude. In other words, the gratitude attitude begins at the top of the food chain. An effective CEO goes way beyond nailing important presentations and pounding out emails; outstanding leadership requires inhouse maintenance, meaning keeping the employees happy to upkeep the organization’s productivity. The leaders of a company set precedent for the behavior with which it operates.
The great thing about gratitude is that there is no owner’s manual or strict set of guidelines to follow-- the options are endless. With that, it is vital to consider the whole person when expressing your gratitude, not just a specific task or ability of theirs. Additionally, keep in mind that every individual has their own preference of tokens of appreciation. Where some may appreciate big balloons and a public praise, others might enjoy a handwritten letter left on their desk. In this process, we not only become experts at expressing gratitude, but we get to know our colleagues better as well. This leads to an increased sense of connectivity, both from bosses to their employees and from employees to their organization.
As mentioned, it may feel odd to start expressing emotions in the workplace, a place that many have strictly reserved for professionalism. To start this practice, we must first become comfortable with expressing gratitude in all facets of our lives (within ourselves and our personal lives). A popular practice is keeping a gratitude journal. There is no right way for this exercise, as long as you are expressing gratitude. A favored format is journaling for 15 minutes a day, writing down up to five things you are grateful for in detail: no matter how small or large. Remember to be specific and thoughtful! Another practice is walking meditation, where you carefully analyze and appreciate your surroundings as you are traveling from one place to another. From simple to complex, any daily practice of gratitude will train your brain to carry this attitude with you to the workplace.