With the new year settling in, implementing workplace wellness initiatives start to reach the top of the to-do list. The list of possibilities goes on and on, from fitness discounts, nutrition apps, lunch and learns to employee engagement kick-offs.
But where to begin?
Focusing on internal engagement and workplace happiness can not only improve productivity but also help with retention rates. A study by Glassdoor found that 80% of employees would be willing to work harder for an appreciative boss, and 70% said they’d feel better about themselves and their efforts if their boss thanked them more regularly.
Practicing gratitude and employee appreciation can make a world of a difference. According to UC Davis psychology professor and author Robert Emmons, “gratitude is a basic human requirement—and since we spend most of our waking hours at the office, giving and receiving thanks at work becomes pretty important.” Aside from the human response to gratitude, there have been many studies examining the affects of gratitude and positive psychology.
Some of the research studies show:
- Thanking employees increases productivity- managers thanking employees acts as a motivator and increases productivity.
- Gratitude improves well-being– there is a link between physical health and grateful individuals having lower blood pressure, improved immunity, and better heart health.
- Gratitude builds mental strength- increase of resilience, improvement of stress management, and decreased feelings of envy and resentment have all been correlated with being grateful.
- Gratitude increases job satisfaction- when people feel appreciated in their jobs, their workplace happiness will increase and will be more likely to be happy in their job.
Employee recognition programs can go a long way for workplace happiness.
“Appreciation is a cornerstone of the culture at Southwest Airlines…One way the company appreciates employees is by paying attention to special events in their personal lives—from kids’ graduations to marriages to family illnesses—and recognizing those with small gestures like flowers and cards.”
Building gratitude into a company culture needs to start from the top. While it can take time to fully integrate with a culture and trickle down the pipe-line, here are some ways to start having gratitude on a day-to-day basis with your employees.
- Recognize small accomplishments – send a thank you- whether via a group email for recognition or a shout-out on the team’s chat in Slack.
- Share gratefulness – at weekly meetings encourage team members to say 1-2 things they are grateful for regarding another person on the team.
- Practice meditation– some options for this include providing employees with onsite guided meditation, discounts to meditation studios, or access to meditation apps, including meditation in a daily ritual can help increase gratefulness.
- Give Back- even though the holidays are over, it doesn’t mean giving back has to stop. Think about organizing volunteer events for members of the company by partnering with an organization whose missions aligns with that of the company. Giving back to others increases individuals sense of gratitude.
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson