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Authentic Gratitude In The Workplace

Authentic Gratitude in the Workplace

By Renée Cohen
Proposal Manager & Contributing Writer at Quantum

Are you looking for a job that will fill you with joy and gratitude? Gratitude for the satisfaction you derive from doing work you love, gratitude for the exciting challenges each day brings, for the opportunity to collaborate with interesting colleagues and contribute to the achievement of common goals ─ all while earning great pay and fulfilling personal career aspirations?

Or are you spending your days at a job you hate, for which you are only grateful once 5 p.m. finally rolls around?

Clearly, gratitude is subjective. It is received and perceived differently by everybody. Expressions of gratitude in the workplace vary widely and depend largely upon each company’s corporate culture.

Sadly, in some workplaces, expressions of gratitude are virtually non-existent and even frowned upon. At the other end of the spectrum, expressions of gratitude may be inauthentic or feel forced (which brings to mind a poster I once saw affixed to an office wall, which read: The beatings will continue until company morale is restored!).

Impactful Expressions of Gratitude

At Quantum, not only is authentic gratitude the norm, but it was the recent topic of discussion during a company-wide Corporate Wellness Masterclass webinar.

Apparently, expressions of gratitude don’t only provide employees with a more meaningful connection to the organization, but they also contribute to:

  • More creative collaboration and a reduction in conflicts between colleagues
  • Increased productivity
  • Higher rates of employee engagement
  • Fewer absences
  • Lower turnover rates

Gratitude helps nurture working relationships by invoking greater feelings of trust, loyalty, and commitment. However, if a company’s gratitude initiatives are inauthentic and done solely for the sake of appearances, they will fall flat. Hence, companies must be mindful about how messages of gratitude are delivered.

For example, if the intended recipient is shy and introverted, then the best venue in which to recognize their latest triumph is not in front of the entire company (i.e., during an all-in meeting). Instead, a more discreet form (i.e., a personalized email message) would likely sit better. The opposite holds true for more extroverted employees who are comfortable being the centre of attention. In other words, messages of gratitude are more effective when they are personalized and tailored to suit the individual recipient.

Stella T. works as an Executive Assistant at a large engineering firm where she is recognized by her colleagues as a foodie with a love for baked goods ─ cupcakes, in particular. After each success made possible by her work contributions, Stella receives a box of cupcakes as a demonstration of gratitude from upper management.

The Positive Impact of Gratitude

Team members, like Stella, who are shown gratitude and encouraged by their employers are more likely to feel motivated. As a consequence, they are also more productive. During the webinar, it was mentioned that according to studies, over 66% of office employees would leave their jobs if they didn’t feel appreciated. (For millennials that percentage is closer to 80%.)

Everyone wants to feel that their time and efforts are valued. The good news is that making someone else feel good about their work also brings happiness to the purveyor– which in turn inspires both parties to crave more positive interactions in the future. (Or in Stella’s case, more cupcakes.) Moreover, when people are happier at work, the runoff from that positivity tends to seep into other areas of their lives as well.

So, whether you’re looking for a job that will fill you with gratitude, or if you can only muster some up once the clock strikes 5 p.m., now’s the perfect time to check out our job listings.

You’ll be grateful you did.

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