Boost Workplace Well-being with Gratitude


April 25, 2023

Amanda Feller

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X min

5 min

Discover the importance of gratitude in the workplace and how it can benefit both employees and organizations as a whole.

An organization promotes a positive and productive workplace culture by publicly recognizing an employee.

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Did you know May is Mental Health Awareness Month? Nearly 1 in 5 Americans live with a mental illness, and now more than ever, it is crucial that we bring awareness and support to mental wellness by communicating openly with our teams about mental health.

We all have access to an essential tool that can impact mental health – gratitude.

Organizations worldwide are shifting to a culture that fosters gratitude and recognition – and for good reason. Organizations are experiencing the many benefits of a workforce that feels more appreciated, respected, and valued. Positive psychology research has proven time and time again that gratitude creates a more productive, positive, and engaged workforce. 

Gratitude has the ability to fuel an incredible culture and has so many benefits to an organization. Telling someone they are appreciated is important of course, but as leaders, it is important to practice what you preach and share your gratitude in meaningful, intentional ways. When shared openly and often, gratitude can be a massive needle mover in creating a stronger culture and benefiting an organization. 

How Gratitude Benefits Your Organization

Gratitude yields so many benefits not only to employees but to the organizational success as a whole. Companies that prioritize gratitude get to reap the reward of the practice. Employees that rate themselves as happier have been found to be 13% more productive than the average employee after working the same amount of hours. It was also found that employees who do not feel valued at their workplace are more likely to seek other employment opportunities. This means that the time, money, and energy you have spent training employees is at risk if they don’t feel valued! A stronger culture also promotes the overall brand of the business as a whole, leading to a stronger talent pool, enhancing the company’s reputation as an employer, and driving business results. 

How Gratitude Benefits Your Employees

There are benefits to the employees on a personal level as well when gratitude is present at work. Improved well-being at work has been shown to improve the mental health of employees which leads to reduced stress, anxiety, and depression. Studies have also shown that employees who feel appreciated are more likely to be more motivated within their roles and work harder to achieve goals within their roles.

Employees that feel the effects of gratitude are also more likely to have strengthened relationships with those around them such as their colleagues or company leadership. Gratitude brings people together and strengthens employee bonds which creates a stronger culture. 

Employees are also more likely to be engaged in the workplace when gratitude and appreciation are expressed. Gratitude is a key driver to keeping employees engaged and connected to their work. Gratitude is also often a two-way street, and when an employee feels appreciated, they are more likely to pay it forward and share their gratitude in return through actions, emotions, or tenure. This creates a wonderfully positive cycle of appreciation. 

Sharing Gratitude At Work

As an HR leader, there are many ways you can express gratitude to employees within an organization - even a simple thank you can go a long way in fostering a culture of positivity. The former CEO of Campbell Soup sent over 30,000 handwritten thank-you notes to his employees and staff during his tenure with the company! This is such a personal and meaningful thing to do because he used his own precious time to go above and beyond in showing others that they are seen and valued not only by the company but by him personally. 

When you lead by example and promote gratitude, you can create a culture where gratitude and appreciation are valued, and positive actions and behaviors are encouraged and rewarded. This can lead to a more positive and productive workplace where employees feel motivated, engaged, and committed to the success of the company. You have the ability to foster a culture of gratitude in the workplace - and will get to reap the reward of success when gratitude is felt! 

6 Ways to Show Your Gratitude 

If you are looking for a creative way to share more gratitude and create a stronger work culture, here are 6 creative ways to show your gratitude to your team and create positive feedback loops and boost engagement.  

  1. Thank You: a simple thank you is so powerful and can go a long way in fostering a culture of positivity. It lets your employees know they are seen and recognized for their efforts.
  2. Gratitude Email Train: start an email thread with a gratitude note to an employee and encourage them to pay it forward to another employee and keep a gratitude email train going.
  3. Gratitude Gifts: recognize your employee's professional efforts by gifting them something to cultivate gratitude within their personal lives, such as a gratitude journal. Intentional gifts go a long way in showing you care and creating a meaningful memory for the receiver. 
  4. Gratitude Newsletter: encourage employees to nominate one another for a monthly gratitude newsletter where they can share an appreciation for their teammates. This is a great way to publicly express appreciation and get others involved. 
  5. Milestone Celebrations: express your gratitude to your employees by recognizing important milestones within the company, such as an employee anniversary and let them know how appreciated their efforts have been.
  6. Team Gratitude Activity: try a virtual or in-person gratitude meditation video that allows your employees to take time to prioritize their mental health. This is a great way to practice what you preach and ensure everyone who participates experiences the positive benefits of gratitude.

Show Your Gratitude with Kudos 

Kudos is a platform that allows you to share your gratitude and appreciation for all the hard work your employees do. Celebrate your workforce with::

  • Employee Milestones: Celebrate tenure and show your appreciation for workplace milestones to celebrate your people. Celebrating the little things are what adds up to be the big things! 
  • Peer-to-Peer Recognition: A great culture is built on a foundation of gratitude. Strengthen the bond of inner workplace relationships and encourage gratitude to be expressed between employees rather than only coming from the top down.
  • Sensational Rewards: Lead by example with recognition and rewards to create a memorable moment of gratitude for your team members!

Showing gratitude in the workplace is truly a win-win for both employees and the overall success of the organization. Use it to increase productivity and performance and create a workplace of well-being and connection.

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About Kudos

Kudos is an employee engagement, culture, and analytics platform, that harnesses the power of peer-to-peer recognition, values reinforcement, and open communication to help organizations boost employee engagement, reduce turnover, improve culture, and drive productivity and performance. Kudos uses unique proprietary methodologies to deliver essential people analytics on culture, performance, equity, and inclusion, providing organizations with deep insights and a clear understanding of their workforce.

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