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How and Why to Promote Workplace Gratitude

08 July 2021

It feels incredible whenever someone says thank you, and expressing thank you is so simple. So, what accounts for the lack of thankfulness in the workplace? After all, gratitude is a fundamental human desire. Given that a short, heartfelt thank you is a tremendous driver and costs anything, it is rather odd that more bosses aren't thanking their employees more frequently. Regrettably, some companies believe that expressing gratitude for what employees are paid to accomplish is unnecessary. Nonetheless, research shows that appreciation leads to the type of workplace in which people desire to show up for work, and employee well-being is good.

Showing gratitude is something we all do, most likely because it is ingrained in our genetics. Research suggests that thankfulness is an inherent aspect of being human, forming part of the fundamental foundations of human nature. Gratitude, according to neuroscientists, awakens numerous parts of the brain, even those associated with creating social ties and analyzing the moral thoughts and actions of others. Furthermore, gratitude induces a sense of reward in the brain, which is amplified in thankful people.

What is Gratitude?

Gratitude refers to the state of being grateful or appreciative. It also inspires a feeling of eagerness to show compassion and thanks. It also refers to the capability to be mindful of and never dismiss the positive things happening to you.

We all have different ways of expressing our gratitude. You may express gratitude with body language and facial expressions. Some people prefer to express their feelings through material objects such as gifting or money. Others say themselves through literature, while some undertake acts of compassion.

Benefits of Gratitude in the Workplace

Cultivating a grateful disposition releases dopamine levels in the brain, which enhances feelings of well-being, increases positivity, and promotes overall health. Let's look at some of the documented workplace benefits of gratefulness:


Employees that feel recognized and appreciated by their managers and teammates are often healthier and more excited about their jobs. They are driven to perform at their best and contribute to the overall success of their organization.

Professional Relationships

When employees feel valued and respected, they have good relationships with their managers. Employers who demonstrate appreciation to their workforce contribute to the creation of a healthy work environment. Furthermore, employees that practice thankfulness and communicate appreciation to one another will have improved social relationships, which will lead to greater employee satisfaction.

People Over Talent

Many employees want to feel confident addressing management and teammates about a wide range of topics, such as those irrelevant to their jobs. You may recognize employees for their capacity to make people laugh or maybe for their creative abilities, such as art or writing. Flexible work arrangement is one method to express gratitude for work ethic, and comparable gestures may have a favorable impact on the productivity and satisfaction of your team.


According to research, appreciative leadership better motivates their people to be more productive. The researchers monitored workers who were tasked with making fundraising calls. Employees who were complimented and felt valued by their managers made 50 percent more calls than their unappreciated colleagues.


An organization with dedicated and appreciative employees can imagine itself as more successful, and the goals established will be met more successfully.

Corporate Culture

Workplace dissatisfaction, repeated absenteeism, fatigue, and substandard outputs can stem from a lack of gratitude. When there are complaints and gossip, the organization's leaders need to take measures before the company suffers. When all employees in the office work with gratitude, the organization will begin to create a healthy workplace culture. It has also been demonstrated that those who practice appreciation are more empathetic and less likely to seek vengeance when managers and teammates give them nasty feedback.

Better Leaders

Work can be challenging, especially if you are in a leadership or management post. Gratitude has significant and good consequences on both our well-being and our spirits. As an outcome, it fosters positive emotion and sensations of delight, which can lead to improved commitment and fruitful relationships at work. According to one study, when leaders express gratitude for their work, staff are 50% more effective. It's a win-win situation.


Gratitude also aids in the improvement of employee well-being. Gratitude, both felt and expressed, creates a pleasant and happy feeling. These cognitive enhancements can have a substantial favorable impact on employees' physical and emotional well-being. According to research, showing and feeling appreciation improves employee health and well-being by:

  • Blood pressure reduction
  • Improving sleep quality
  • Improving one's awareness
  • Improving one's happiness
  • Improving one's energy
  • Stress reduction

How to Implement Thankfulness

When it comes to expressing appreciation, authenticity is essential. Leaders congratulating employees simply because they have been taught to will not work. It is also crucial to thank and recognize minor and significant accomplishments. Personal victories are not as essential as team victories.

Begin Meetings with Appreciation

Instead of beginning a meeting with presentations or progress reports, ask members to express something they are thankful for. This helps employees become more existent and less anxious.

Gratitude Must Begin at the Top

A manager or leader must understand that their responsibility is more than only to supervise and coach. They must also inspire and enable their workforce. Positive remarks will emerge when people at the top of the management ladder acknowledge the efforts of their employees. Every organization should make it a goal to motivate each team member to be kind and appreciative of one another.

Something for Everyone

It is critical to realize that not everyone wishes to be acknowledged in the very same way. While some employees relish public acclaim, it may cause others to want to crawl under their workstations. Workplaces bring varied groups of people together, each with its relationship dynamics, cultures, and abilities. It is the employer's responsibility to understand these distinctions on an individual level and demonstrate appreciation in various ways.

Personalize and Make it Genuine

Everyone feels better when their supervisor compliments them on a job well done. However, when such a situation frequently occurs for a team and the entire business, it can be impossible to feel that the acknowledgment is for you. As you become accustomed to it, you will begin to suspect that such compliments are not sincere. Leaders must strive to tailor and be particular in their expressions of appreciation and admiration. It is not the same as presenting a sales report to express gratitude. Employees have the impression that their supervisors are bored in saying "thank you." This could even lead to a quiet loss of respect for the employer.

Acts of Appreciation

  • When your employees come in the morning, greet them.
  • Surprise your employees with coffee, lunch, or some other treat is a great way to show your appreciation.
  • Be considerate of everyone's time.
  • Compose thank-you notes, e-mail, or letters.
  • Acknowledge efforts even though things don't go as planned.
  • Dedicate a day of gratitude.
  • Express appreciation regularly and sincerely.


Gratitude and mindfulness go synonymously. When you integrate them, for example, by completing a gratitude meditation, it amplifies positivity. Employees who practice mindfulness become far more conscious of their surroundings and remember the small details. According to one study, meditation can alter the physical makeup of the brain, reducing the amygdala and rendering it less susceptible to stress and anxiety. Motivate employees to engage in breathing techniques, mindful walks, and meditation.

Support Colleague Recognition

Urge employees to write thank-you cards or shout-outs to their teammates. Print up forms for employees to fill out and distribute with one another. Request that individuals send out at least one gratitude and appreciation note per week.

Give Credit when it's Due

When someone completes a task, make sure you acknowledge and praise them. It makes no difference if they successfully signed up a client or generated a brilliant e-mail template; both deserve credit and thanks.

Promote Random Acts of Kindness

Employees that go out of their way to assist a coworker or make someone smile should be recognized. Kindness spreads like wildfire.

Celebrate Success

Keep an eye out for minor victories that will make personnel feel appreciated.


Gratitude is a vital concept. It is necessary to go beyond praise and encouragement to form professional ties, and expressing appreciation can be viral. One of the most effective methods to build a healthy, pleasant work atmosphere is to assist employees in expressing and feeling gratitude throughout the workday.