Cultivate a culture of gratitude

Sanjay Arora

No one likes doing work and not being appreciated for it. That feeling is everywhere. Your team puts in an effort to do anything and wants some gratitude in return. It might be submitting an important report to you well before the deadline, finishing a project at two third of budgeted cost or spending those extra hours for weeks together without being asked. Regardless of what it may be, one still wants to be appreciated for it. 

The practice of gratitude-and its close sibling — appreciation — has infiltrated workplaces, from new software companies to older institutions like Campbell Soup, whose former CEO wrote 30,000 thank you notes to his employees. Through research on gratitude over the past two decades, it is now evident that it leads to more positive emotions, less stress and fewer health complaints, a greater sense that we can achieve our goals, fewer sick days, and higher satisfaction with our jobs and our co- workers.

Here’s how a culture of gratitude will increase productivity:

Gratitude increases effectiveness of teams

While working in a team, everyone has the same objective. Regardless of how much they are able to contribute, their effort is what should be seen, and not what they deliver. That’s for the manager to see. If someone in your team isn’t able to perform to the standards that they set for themselves, they can lose morale, and their work performance will enter an unending spiral of degraded quality. 

Here, giving gratitude to each other, especially to the underperformers increases their morale, and gives them the drive to perform better, benefitting both them and the entire team. 

Within the team, animosity is a killer, and amiability is a desired condition. Gratitude will improve the relationship between team-members, improve their intra-team communication, and make the work more enjoyable, increasing the team's overall effectiveness substantially. 

The domino effect

The beauty of giving and taking gratitude is that it has a sort of domino effect. It starts with one manager and will spread among different departments and managers soon. This helps people in the company to bond, increases the effectiveness of the employees in the work they undertake, and the general mood in the company improves tremendously. 

Just a few good words are all that is needed to boost a company’s performance, and employee’s happiness.  

Nurturing positivity

At the end of the day, the company gains from gratitude. Employees feel more willing to work in the company, and are indirectly pushed to put in more effort. The spread of gratitude, both between co-workers, and between the hierarchy increases the job satisfaction of the employees, which boosts the company tremendously. Lastly, the company starts to feel like a better place to work in compared to how it might have been in the past. Don’t let today pass by without giving at least one person you work with a big big thank you! Afterall, feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not delivering it. 

Increases job satisfaction 

It just sucks when someone puts an effort in the company, and all their manager does is say nothing, and not appreciating the work put in. The result of this is the employee in question has loses job satisfaction. Constant lack of gratitude leads to a massive drop in job satisfaction, which typically ends up with the employee resigning. The reason? The manager didn’t appreciate work. Just a few nice words from the manager to the employee can make a change that the manager won’t notice, but the employee will feel it. What will happen is simple — the employees will finally start feeling that their work isn’t going unnoticed.  Not only that, but their general work ethics and behaviour within the office will s improve ubstantially. That leads to job satisfaction, which matters to the top executives. It is job satisfaction that makes or breaks a company. 

— The writer is Chief Mentor and CEO at Maven