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The Benefits of Gratitude in the Workplace

“Thank you.” How often do you say those two words? To some people, saying ‘thank you’ comes as second nature, but often, this small gesture can be forgotten when you’re in a rush, stressed or have too much on your plate. Have you ever asked for help on a project or picked up your Starbucks order from the counter and just continued on with your day without saying those two words of appreciation?

In life and in business, showing appreciation can make an impact on your relationships and the perceptions others have of you. While we know that saying “please” and “thank you” are polite, what effects can showing gratitude have on your life and on the relationships around you, specifically in the workplace?

There’s been numerous studies about the neuroscience behind gratitude and the benefits that can affect every aspect of our lives. According to various studies on gratitude, benefits in the workplace include:

Increasing effectiveness as managers.

  • Who doesn’t appreciate a “thank you” or a “job well done” from their boss?

Improving decision-making.

  • Those that lead with gratitude often feel less pressure to make decisions to attain short-term gratification.

Helping us find meaning in our work.

  • Employees that focus on gratitude are often more effective and fulfilled in their careers.

Improving mental health and reducing stress.

  • Those that practice gratitude have fewer depressive symptoms and stress.

Contributing to decreased turnover.

  • Gratitude and respect in the workplace can make people feel embedded within the organization, welcomed and valued.

At NST, we take the time to appreciate our team with our ‘explorer award,’ an award given during our weekly staff meeting to someone on our team or an account team that exemplifies our core values. We’ve also been known to send gift cards for coffee, shout out our team in our ‘Gong’ Slack channel or bring in extra treats to celebrate in the office.

NSTers not only practice gratitude to make a positive difference in the office, but we also make an effort to show gratitude to our clients and to the media that we work with every day. Whether we send a ‘thank you’ email post-segment, deliver a handwritten note, or send a client-branded onesie to our expecting influencer partners, we want to make sure we’re always going above and beyond to thank people for their time and energy.

As an organization, we pride ourselves in showing up as our best selves. And, we also pride ourselves in having clients that do the same. McDonald’s recently launched its new ‘Thank You Crew’ initiative. The NST team coordinated and provided onsite support as McDonald’s provided 90 happy meals to a local elementary school after one of its students wrote a thank you letter to her local store.

If you’re looking for ways to practice gratitude in the workplace, try out a few of these ideas to see how they positively impact your relationships and your overall mood:

  • Start your day by writing down one to two things you’re grateful for in that moment.
  • At the end of the workday, make a list of all the things that went right that day.
  • Take a moment to say “thank you” when your colleague completes a project for you or provides support.
  • Create a Slack channel or email chain to give a shout out to team members that are performing well.
  • Incorporate a workplace award to highlight team members that embody your company values.
  • Assign a ‘No Complaints Day’ and follow-through.
  • Send a message to a colleague that has provided a lot of support lately and thank them for making your workday easier.