As holiday music starts to filter through store speakers, and retail displays transform into something fit for a Winter Wonderland, you cannot deny it: the anticipation of the holiday season is officially upon us. You’re probably hearing more people talk about gratitude everywhere… well, almost everywhere. Studies have shown that people are less likely to express gratitude at work than anywhere else. That’s a lost opportunity, considering the host of benefits that gratitude has to offer, such as improved job satisfaction, increased self-confidence, stronger and more productive peer relationships, and an all-around more positive work environment. Here are a few tips on how to reap some of these amazing benefits by expressing sincere gratitude in your place of employment.
Thank a coworker for a job well done.
Whether the task they completed was part of their normal job duties, or they went above-and-beyond to help you with yours, a little appreciation can go a long way in building strong working relationships and a more positive professional environment. Feeling appreciated can even make people more engaged workers by helping them feel more confident, supported, and able to tackle challenges. To maximize these feel-good benefits, avoid super generalized statements of thanks, and make your compliment as specific as possible so your coworker knows exactly what it is that you are appreciative of. For example, instead of “thanks for the great work today,” try something like, “I really appreciated your help with those spreadsheets this afternoon – your expertise with formulas made finishing that project SO much easier – thank you!”
Be a team player.
One of the easiest ways to show gratitude at work (and to improve your work environment) is by helping a coworker so that you can reach your shared goals. In fact, the success of most businesses depends on the ability of its workers to come together in support of its mission. We all have busy schedules and deadlines, so it means a lot when you take time out of your busy day to help someone else (and therefore your whole team) succeed. Not only does this help you demonstrate a level of professional courtesy, it also helps build a sense of camaraderie by showing your workers that you’ve got their back, and you’re invested in a positive outcome for the team. Your help doesn’t need to be some big elaborate gesture – it could be something as simple as offering advice on a work challenge you’ve conquered before, sharing an Excel shortcut that could save a coworker some time, or lending a hand with a project when someone is obviously swamped. Never underestimate the powerful impact a small gesture of kindness could have on someone, or the way that impact could transform your work environment for the better. Plus, to give is also to receive, so if you are willing to help out your peers, don’t be surprised when the favor is returned.
Be grateful for your individual progress.
Many people, especially those who are used to fast-paced work environments, find themselves in the habit of always having their eyes on the next goal to be met or improvement to be made, and that is great! However, make sure you’re not failing to extend some gratitude to yourself by appreciating how far you’ve already come. The hard work you’ve done thus far has helped you hone your existing skills, build new ones, and discover things about yourself that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Be kind to yourself and celebrate your successes – it will help you tackle everything that follows with an improved sense of confidence and optimism.