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GratitudeGoestoWork

Devin C. Hughes
Devin C. Hughes Chief Inspiration Officer
7mo San Diego, CA, United States Story
Gratitude Goes to Work

Gratitude is incredibly rewarding for both the giver and the recipient. It doesn't necessarily cost anything to give, but it can make a huge difference in the way you -- and those around you -- approach everything from mundane tasks to major events. The workplace is one place gratitude tends to be lacking on all levels. As we approach Thanksgiving here in the U.S., it's a good time to get into the practice of showing our gratitude towards those that we work for and with -- those that make it possible for us to earn our livelihoods.

Learn to say "Thank You"

It's not always easy to provide proper thanks for a job well done or help with a difficult problem. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, gratitude is sorely lacking in the workplace.

The good news is, it's not too late to start showing your gratitude towards not only other co-workers, but your supervisors, as well. The best rule of thumb is, if you feel like saying "Thank you," do it. Get in the practice of making eye contact when you thank someone -- it conveys your sincerity and makes it that much more meaningful.

Beyond Words

Sometimes words don't adequately show how grateful you feel, or you'd like to reward a person or persons with a larger gesture. If you're a supervisor, consider having a catered Thanksgiving lunch for your employees. Better yet, take them out to the group's favorite haunt for a relaxed and enjoyable meal.

If there is a particular individual you want to show your gratitude for, a paid day off or a gift card are a couple of common and effective ways many supervisors like to thank their employees. For instance, Arlene, a medical assistant at a low-income health clinic, was deeply touched when her boss handed each employee a $20 bill from his own wallet at the end of a long and difficult shift. She recalls that he said, "Thanks for your hard work today. I couldn't have done it without you." Just that small gesture and kind words kept her spirits up and made her feel like she was an important part of the team.

As an employee, you can show gratitude for your team of coworkers by buying lunch, bringing in coffee and goodies, or simply writing a thank-you note. It may seem like overkill, but I can promise you that they'll remember the gesture probably long after you've forgotten it.

Thanks for reading. If this was valuable to you, I’d be honored if you followed me on Twitter Devin C. Hughes, where I share the latest research on happiness, mindfulness and human performance, and subscribe to my newsletter, where an earlier version of this article appeared.

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7 comments

  • VivianaVizcaino
    VivianaVizcaino Viviana
    7mo ago

    Personally, I find thank you cards to be very effective. Small, sweet gestures which can be personalized with a sentence or two. Also, relatively inexpensive!

    Personally, I find thank you cards to be very effective. Small, sweet gestures which can be personalized with a sentence or two. Also, relatively inexpensive!

  • Courtney Dercqu
    Courtney Dercqu Influencer
    7mo ago

    Not feeling appreciated is one of the major determining factors for employees looking elsewhere. Money is vital, of course, however in my own experiences, I feel that people feel more comfortable with making less money if they work in a healthy environment. I agree with Viviana's comment below; thank you cards work wonders for me. If not a card, then a Starbucks treat, or my bag of favorite candy, have been things I've received that have really made me fee valued. It can be hard to voice your appreciation when you're trying to juggle a million things at once, but supervisors need to make more of an effort to do so because that is what will help improve employee productivity. When an employee doesn't feel valued, they won't work as hard or want to be bothered as much with the supervisor. Just saying thank you will help bridge that gap.

    Not feeling appreciated is one of the major determining factors for employees looking elsewhere. Money is vital, of course, however in my own experiences, I feel that people feel more comfortable with making less money if they work in a healthy environment. I agree with Viviana's comment below; thank you cards work wonders for me. If not a card, then a Starbucks treat, or my bag of favorite candy, have been things I've received that have really made me fee valued. It can be hard to voice your appreciation when you're trying to juggle a million things at once, but supervisors need to make more of an effort to do so because that is what will help improve employee productivity. When an employee doesn't feel valued, they won't work as hard or want to be bothered as much with the supervisor. Just saying thank you will help bridge that gap.

  • ahc328
    7mo ago

    These are great tips! Definitely management is a tough role but making sure that employees feel appreciated is essential :)

    These are great tips! Definitely management is a tough role but making sure that employees feel appreciated is essential :)

    • Devin C. Hughes
      Devin C. Hughes Chief Inspiration Officer
      7mo ago

      it is critical right now at work as employee engagement is at record lows

      it is critical right now at work as employee engagement is at record lows

  • Lost_ Yank911
    Lost_ Yank911 Random thoughts from an EMT
    7mo ago

    Some jobs are thankless but you can still be thankful towards your boss for making that schedule change for you, or to the co workers that assisted you during a tough shift. Just remember to pay it forward!

    Some jobs are thankless but you can still be thankful towards your boss for making that schedule change for you, or to the co workers that assisted you during a tough shift. Just remember to pay it forward!


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Devin C. Hughes
Chief Inspiration Officer

Author, Speaker & Positive Psychology Researcher

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