Many people view gratitude as an emotion experienced during the Thanksgiving holiday, but few people realize gratitude is an action, not an emotion, that has benefits all year long. When it comes to our businesses, even fewer people understand the impact that gratitude can have in the workplace. Gratitude has 2 parts: recognizing the good things that happen in our lives, and that the sources of these good things often are outside our self.
One of our customers recently pointed out to us that research indicates the action of gratitude makes people more productive, cooperative, motivated to succeed, fulfilled, effective, and happier. Who wouldn’t want to work in a place like that?
Unfortunately, according to the Greater Good Science Center, only 10% of Americans say they perform an action of gratitude toward their colleagues every day, and 60% say they rarely or never take that action. And the number one reason people leave their jobs? According to the US Department of Labor, it’s because they don’t feel appreciated.
So why don’t we act with gratitude at work? One reason is we don’t like being told to do it. We think we are being forced to be grateful, and that feeling just doesn’t seem right. However, the research indicates that an attitude of gratitude feels good (whether we were told to do it or not) and we like doing things that feel good. Even people who are resistant to the idea reap the benefits of gratitude (improved health, more friends, higher income, reduced depression, and more people like you). Another reason is we feel that if gratitude isn’t spontaneous, but planned, it feels like we are faking it. The reality is we should be thoughtful and authentic about how we act in gratitude, and once we realize what gratitude really is, we will see many opportunities to be grateful to our colleagues.
As business leaders, we may think that acting with gratitude may make us look weak. According to the Greater Good Science Center, grateful leaders inspire more trust in their employees which creates an energy that helps the employees pursue their business objectives. Instead of looking weak, we become stronger leaders when we are grateful to our employees for their efforts to help us succeed.
If you want to have a better business, take some time to slow down, look a colleague in the eyes and tell them you are grateful to them for the work they do and why you are grateful.
At Ekotrope, we are grateful to you, our customers all year long. We’d like to take the time to tell you we are grateful for the work you do, which allows us to do work we love to do. We relentlessly create the best user experience for you, expand the opportunities for you to get more value for what you do, and create more opportunities for you through our partnerships with utility programs. You provide us the opportunity to do our best work every day, and we are grateful you trust us to deliver superior service and software.
The Ekotrope Team