In the busy modern-day work environment, with its long hours and large task lists, it’s easy to forget to take the time to show gratitude to your employees. However, giving thanks is important as research by One4all Rewards found that 48% of UK workers would likely leave a company if their employer did nothing to say thank you or show gratitude.
According to Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine, authors of the book The Power of Thanks, ‘Gratitude magnifies the spirit and promotes well-being. In good times and bad, authentic appreciation creates perspective, literally stepping back from the distractions of the moment and affirming something more lasting than passing circumstance’. In their research, Mosley and Irvine asked employees ‘aside from pay, what motivates and engages you at work?’. Fifty-nine percent replied, ‘praise and recognition’. ‘Gratitude is a bit more personal than appreciation,’ the authors explain, ‘it means expressing thanks for a benefit one has received’.
According to Mosley and Irvine, here are 14 scientifically proven year-round benefits of gratitude:
1. Grateful people achieve more: For example, research has found that gratitude can lead to increased energy, motivation and enthusiasm in the workplace. One4all Rewards research found that 65% of UK workers would increase their productivity or be more motivated if they received thanks from their employer at regular intervals, for example, in the form of an individual cash bonus or gift card.
2. Grateful people are better corporate citizens.
3. Grateful people are less likely to burn out.
4. Grateful people pay it forward.
5. Grateful people are more morally alert.
6. Giving creates a positive feedback loop: For example, researchers at the Harvard Business School found that ‘Happier people give more and giving makes people happier, such that happiness and giving may operate in a positive feedback loop (with happier people giving more, getting happier, and giving even more’.
7. Opportunity to give increases commitment to a company: For example, One4all Rewards research found that 61% of UK workers would be likely to apply for or accept a job offer from a company which gifts workers an individual cash bonus or gift card once per year.
8. Givers are more engaged: For example, studies have found that employees who are encouraged to give recognition to their peers are more than twice as engaged as those who are not.
9. Gratefulness increases emotional well-being.
10. Grateful people get along better with others.
11. Grateful people are more resilient to trauma.
12. Grateful people sleep better.
13. Grateful people are physically healthier: For example, researchers have found that gratitude strengthens the immune system; reducing the symptoms of illness and lowers blood pressure as a result.
14. Grateful people are less depressed.
How to encourage gratitude in the workplace:
1. Hold gratitude meetings: Hold a special meeting once a month where managers recognise employees individually for their efforts. Thanking employees for their individual contributions, rather than as a part of a group, will have a positive impact on workplace performance and productivity.
2. Provide learning opportunities: Offering employees the chance to upskill and climb the career ladder in their company is a great way to show gratitude. From personal development (for example, cooking classes) to professional development (for example, coding), research from ClearCompany claims that 68% of workers say training and development is the most important workplace policy.
3. Give gifts: From points-based incentives to performance-based incentives, employees of the month to suggestions of improvement, showing gratitude to employees through gift giving is a great way to boost motivation, satisfaction and positivity in the workplace. One4all Rewards research found that 62% of UK workers believe that companies which give staff an individual cash bonus or gift card at regular intervals is a more attractive/desirable place to work.