While our personal lives may offer plenty of opportunities to give thanks, it's also important to make a habit of it in our professional lives, according to an article in the Cobb Business Journal. Few people in a study cited expressed gratitude for their work, and that might be because a culture of gratitude needs to be cultivated in the office, and from the top. Business leaders worried that giving thanks will be seen as hinting at a promotion, showing weakness, or failing to inspire hard work should take note of leaders like Richard Branson and Oprah Winfrey. Both view gratitude as an essential element of success and built empires by cultivating a culture of thankfulness. The data supports that mindset, with the vast majority of employees reporting they'd work harder for a more grateful boss.
Gratitude builds critical connections and a common bond, yes, but it also motivates us to persevere through difficult tasks and navigate failures better says an article in Business Management. Research even suggests a grateful mindset helps us sleep better and stay healthier by boosting the immune system and reducing stress. That's good for people and for business.
One thing to avoid in your new gratitude mindset? Expecting thanks for help your colleagues didn't ask for. An article in Science Daily tracks research that differentiates between proactive and reactive help. While it might seem unkind to refrain from proactively helping, workers across age ranges and industries said unrequested offers of assistance were both frustrating and lowered their self-esteem. The helper also reported feeling less motivated to help in the future and similar frustration in the lack of gratitude shown. A worker's best bet is to focus on doing their job well until a request for help comes in.
Cobb Business Journal - Building a no-strings-attached gratitude culture in the workplace
Business Management Daily - Keep gratitude at the forefront
Science Daily - Don't offer co-workers help unless asked