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Create a Grateful Workplace

More and more research is showing that gratitude can greatly affect your quality of life. Grateful people report higher levels of energy, optimism, connections with others, and life satisfaction. Now companies are applying this knowledge in the workplace in order to improve job satisfaction and loyalty, and increase organizational profitability and productivity.

Professor Charles D. Kerns of Pepperdine University says individuals can nurture gratefulness through three strategies, which will be useful both personally and professionally:

  1. Reflect on Three Good Things – Create a daily exercise of reflecting on your day and identifying three things you are grateful for (e.g., a co-worker’s help, a manager’s praise).

  2. Want What You Have – Appreciate what you have now rather than longing for things you don’t have. Turn ungrateful thoughts into supportive ones (e.g., “I wanted the promotion Mary got, but at least I won’t have to travel that much.”)

  3. Communicate Gratitude – Tell someone thank you. Use specific details to explain why you are grateful for what he or she did.

Looking for ways to grow gratitude in your office? Try these suggestions from the University of California-Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center:

  1. Start at the top: Employees need to hear “thank you” from the boss first.

  2. Thank those who never get thanked: Don’t forget the people who work behind the scenes.

  3. Aim for quality, not quantity: Create times and spaces that foster voluntary, authentic expressions of gratitude.

  4. Provide many ways to express it: Create an office gratitude “journal” or “wall.” Offer small non-monetary gifts. Publicly acknowledge people. Include time to say “thanks” in staff meetings.

From my monthly “E” newsletter


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