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.
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.
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