The Great Resignation is already here and it is about to get worse. Many are rethinking what work means to them, how they are valued, and how they spend their time. Whatever the cause, the rush of resignations is accelerating: A record 4.4 million people — about 3 percent of the nation’s workforce — quit in September, according to the Labor Department. (Source: Washington Post)
But not everyone is rushing to quit their job. Most people cannot afford to be unemployed and are rethinking their existing situation or are looking for an alternative work environment. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to talk about gratitude, specifically workplace gratitude. We can all make our workplaces brighter with a little gratitude.
People are less likely to express gratitude at work than anyplace else, according to a survey of 2,000 Americans by the John Templeton Foundation. So why don’t we do this more in the workplace? Are we too busy, too entitled, or just too competitive to step back and reflect on the value of having employment and opportunity? It isn’t clear if this is an American phenomenon or if the lack of workplace gratitude is found in other parts of the world.
I believe that workplace gratitude, like personal gratitude, is truly the path to establishing strong relationships. It is a hallmark of good leadership. For example, one of our clients joined every call by thanking the team for the work that was being done. He would pick one project to highlight and expound on its significance to the business. He used to call at random times, at least once a month, to discuss business and he never neglected to tell us just how much the Red Javelin team meant to him. We could be on deadline or buried in volumes of work, but when I received his call, it would make me smile and my stress would melt away. His gratitude made us feel valued to him, to his business, and it was a wonderful foundation for a good working relationship.
Five Ways to Give Thanks in the Workplace
- Be sincere – If you are going to thank someone, be sincere. Take a minute to reflect and tell your coworker, client, boss, employee, or customer why you are grateful. If possible be specific about a particular project or task where there were difficulties that were overcome or a job well done.
- Acknowledge that your success depends on others – There is no I in team. Almost every function in the workplace requires you to trust and rely on others. Being open and transparent breaks down barriers.
- Thank the people that never are thanked – Recognize all the people that help you succeed even the ones that never seem to shine. The work environment can be intimidating and some voices can get lost.
- Celebrate Small Wins – Every milestone your team hits bring greater success to you and the company. Celebrating small wins help keep the team spirit alive.
- Make someone’s day – Have you ever seen a coworker just having a bad day? It may be something at home or a meeting that just didn’t go as well as expected. Tell them how much you appreciate them and watch their stress melt away.
Expressing gratitude is a feel-good experience for everyone. It increases our sense of optimism, enthusiasm, and creates a sense of well-being that increases our willingness to be helpful to others.
To all my colleagues, clients, ex-clients, and partners, I thank you for your hard work, dedication, and your friendship. Enjoy your holiday!