If you want to create a motivated workforce, using gratitude is powerful. Focusing on gratitude can also decrease stress, increase happiness and reduce illness. This is not woo-woo but science-backed information which has been well researched by Robert A. Emmons who you can read about here.
Now you understand how important gratitude in the workplace is, here are my top tips to create a motivated workforce using gratitude.
Lead from the Top
Like any effective business practice, gratitude must start from the top and the whole workforce should see it happening. They should see it in public and in private and it should be consistent and clear. Start building gratitude into key processes like recruitment and performance management. You can also make it a regular agenda item at team meetings and in training sessions.
Focus on people who rarely get thanked
Make sure you include everyone in the gratitude process. Notice those who work behind the scenes and are less customer facing. These are the people who are less likely to receive a dose of thanks from external sources.
Quality above Quantity
Don’t overdo it as people can become weary and stop engaging. Make all gratitude specific. The person you say thank you to and those who witness it need to know what they did well.
Express Gratitude in a Variety of Ways
Make sure you find out how to thank people in their preferred way. Some people want fanfare and fireworks whereas others prefer a quiet word next to the coffee machine.
You could try these ideas to build in gratitude:
· An office gratitude journal which can be paper, electronic or a notice board.
· A gratitude jar where everyone can post notes expressing thanks. This can be read out in meetings.
· Non- monetary gifts like doing a piece of work for someone, lending a car parking space or giving someone a day off
Use Gratitude When Times are Tough
Psychologist, Robert Emmons reports that gratitude increases resilience to stress and works like a ‘psychological immune system’. In a culture of gratitude it is easier to see beyond problems and re-frame losses into gains.
Try this set of questions created by Emmons to help the re-framing process:
• What lessons did the experience teach us?
• Can we find ways to be thankful for what happened to us now, even though we were not at the time it happened?
• What ability did the experience draw out of us that surprised us?
• Are there ways we have become a better workplace because of it?
• Has the experience removed an obstacle that before prevented us from feeling grateful?
Developing a gratitude culture in the workplace has scientific backing for its impact. It also does not take a huge amount of effort and is often free.
You could choose one of the above strategies and see what impact it has over time. Seeing the impact will help you include other gratitude practices in the workplace.
If you would like some help establishing gratitude at home or in the workplace, please get in touch. To find out more, contact Clare on 07747 774953.