We all feel gratitude sometimes, even if we’re not mindful enough to be aware of the feeling. And if we are aware of it, often times we forget or feel awkward expressing it. Feelings can be hard to talk about, even positive ones. But sometimes, that’s exactly what businesses need to improve! A great company isn’t all about the number, it’s about the employees as well.
We’ve touched on how gratitude can change you as an individual, but what can it do for a company? What happens when employees start expressing gratitude in the workplace?
Gratitude starts a positive loop in the workplace.
When employees are grateful, they become more concerned with others. They’ll begin caring more about things like social responsibility. Those that give and receive gratitude are also more likely to go above and beyond simply doing what’s in their job description. For example, they’ll take a little time out of their day to welcome a new employee and help them get acquainted with the office and coworkers. Grateful employees are also more likely to fill in for a coworker that’s sick or help out a coworker that could use a hand.
But it can be difficult for many companies to get to this point. Many initiatives to foster gratitude in the workplace never catch on and fail. So how can you make it work for you?
3 Mistakes When Introducing Gratitude in the Workplace
1. Rewarding achievements instead of the person.
This is a mistake that many companies make. They implement recognition programs designed to reward performance and accomplishments, this is their way they’re showing they’re grateful for the employee. Instead, what we need to begin rewarding is caring and helpfulness.
Here are some great examples of the type of behaviors we should be rewarding:
- Jerry volunteered to come in for Karen twice while she was ill without being asked to.
- Laura helped Brad with a project he’s been falling behind schedule with since she was ahead of schedule on her work.
- Janet offered to take the newest employee out for lunch to welcome her.
- Dan has been consistently improving his performance on a task he’s been struggling with.
These tasks aren’t anything to “celebrate,” no record-breaking numbers, or sales through the roof. Just every moments and situations that deserve recognition.
2. Recognizing everyone in the same way.
Everyone is different. Not everyone is going to love being publically praised. A Starbucks gift card isn’t going to excite every employee. Everyone is different! Get to know each employee. With some people, you may find that a simple “thank you” in a private conversation is more appreciated than making a grand gesture or receiving a gift.
3. Leaders that aren’t fully embracing gratitude.
The leaders in the organization are simply showing gratitude because they’ve been told to, it’s never going to get anywhere. To create and cultivate gratitude as a part of the workplace culture you need leaders that all-in. Leaders that believe in what they’re doing, are truly appreciative of their employees, aren’t afraid show their gratitude.
Gratitude in the workplace isn’t something that can be forced. Is it something that can be learned? Yes, and it can completely transform a business!
While you’re at it, you might want to consider introducing mindfulness as well.