How Gratitude Boosts Employee Performance on the Job

It’s Thanksgiving week, and everybody’s talking aboThankful Employeesut gratitude. But did you know gratitude does more than give you a good feeling inside? Showing your team members that you appreciate them can significantly boost employee performance. One study found that employees engaged in fundraising activities made 50% more calls when an executive told them she was grateful for their efforts. 

And that’s not all. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude also has benefits for your personal wellbeing. Being thankful can improve your wellness, sleep habits, metabolism, and stress levels.

The problem is that despite the positive benefits of giving thanks, people are less likely to show gratitude at work than anywhere else, according to a John Templeton Foundation survey.

So how can you foster a spirit of gratitude in the workplace? Here are six ways to build a culture of thankfulness:

  • Start with management. More than 90% of employees surveyed by the John Templeton Foundation said they would view a grateful boss as a successful person. When employees know their bosses appreciate them, they work harder and get more done. Starting at the top is also the best way to infuse thankfulness into your company culture.

  • Write it down. Writing a thank-you note not only communicates the right message to the recipient, but also increases your own happiness. And it’s a great way to build positive relationships with colleagues and subordinates.

  • Say thanks to those who get overlooked. There are people in every organization who rarely get thanked for what they do. Maybe it’s the cleaning staff or the accountant or the payroll manager. Take the time to let them know you appreciate them. After all, it’s their work that makes it possible for your star performers to focus on core responsibilities and idea generation.

  • Build gratitude opportunities into your daily routine. Saying thank you doesn’t always have to be a big production with bonuses and a standing ovation. It may be as simple as leaving a note on a message board or sending a quick email.

  • Keep a gratitude journal. Writing down the things you’re thankful for is a proven way to feel more satisfied with your circumstances and to increase wellbeing. And that will spill over into your interactions with others, both at work and elsewhere.

  • Cultivate mental gratitude. It’s easy for job stresses to overwhelm you, but taking a few moments to think about the things you’re thankful for can make a difference in how you tackle problems. No time to write a thank you note? Mentally thank that team member whose work makes your job easier. Then, when the project is complete or the crisis is resolved, jot them a note.

Why is gratitude so powerful? Because it shifts the focus away from external sources of happiness. Instead of hanging your happiness on achieving all your goals or accumulating more things, gratitude emphasizes what you already have.

As the saying goes, the best way to have it all is to realize you already do.