Workplaces where people are happy and satisfied are simply better. They’re more fun for the people working in them, and from a business side of things, they tend to be more productive. But how do you get to this point? How do you build a work environment that people want to be in? It is, after all, work. Well, one way is to work to build a company culture centered on gratitude.
Gratitude is a powerful emotion. Living our life this way means embracing and appreciating what you have. In simple terms, it means saying thank you whenever you can. And it breeds positivity. Building a company culture grounded in gratitude is a great way to create an exciting and comfortable place of work.
But how do you do this? Gratitude is somewhat of an abstract concept, so what needs to be done to make sure it resonates in everyone and becomes a part of company culture? Truthfully, there’s no silver bullet strategy, but here are a few things I have found to be helpful in helping to create a company culture of gratitude:
Start by living a life of gratitude yourself
We’ve all heard the expression “lead by example,” and we know actions are more powerful than words. So, the first step in creating a workplace of gratitude is to embrace it yourself.
How you do this is up to you. Some people like to keep a journal, but others like waking up in the morning and saying out loud what they are thankful for. For some, simply focusing on smiling and tuning out negative thoughts is enough.
But the most important thing is that your coworkers can experience this change in you. You want people to walk away from an interaction thinking, “something’s different.” When you embrace gratitude and the positivity that comes with it, people will be able to feel it. This positive energy then seeps out into the rest of the office, and before you know it, you’ll have transformed the entire atmosphere of the company.
Of course, there’s a little more involved in making this transition, but as a leader, this is a critical first step.
Say thank you as much as you can
Embracing and spreading gratitude is about appreciation. You want everyone to feel lucky. Because they are! However, sometimes this can be hard to see and feel. Life can be difficult at times, as we all know, and it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important.
But you can change this by going out of your way to say thank you. When your employees feel valued and appreciated, they are more likely to feel good about themselves, increasing their own feelings of gratitude.
It’s a good idea, however, to go a little above and beyond just a traditional ‘thank you.’ While this is certainly powerful, to get the gratitude ball rolling, you might need to do something a little extra.
A handwritten note is a really simple first step; a letter or a card can be just what someone needs to feel appreciated. You could go further, though. Offer employees gift cards to local restaurants, or maybe sign them up to receive premium quality at their home.
Again, actions speak louder than words, and these little gestures of gratitude will help inject positivity and appreciation into your workplace culture, helping to create a warm and welcoming work environment.
Give employees space
For a company culture of gratitude to really develop, people need to gain better perspective about what they have. Most unhappiness and negativity comes from our constant state of dissatisfaction—we keep chasing after something we can never have.
Gratitude breaks this never-ending cycle of want and desire. But to get to this point, we need time to understand ourselves. Too many workplaces, though, do not value this “me time” that is so important to fostering wellness and positivity.
Make sure employees are making use of their paid time off, and when they aren’t, find out why and encourage them to take a break from work. Introducing things such as yoga and guided meditation are great for helping people become embrace gratitude, as well as reducing stress in the workplace
You also may want to offer people the opportunity to work from home. This freedom is much appreciated and gives people the chance to look at their jobs from a new light.
Bring sustainability into the fold
Nothing says gratitude quite like taking care of the environment. This Earth is the only home we’ve ever known, and for many of us, it will be the only one. Not taking care of it is a crime and shows a lack of appreciation for what we have.
There are lots of things you can do to bring an environmental conscious into the workplace, and by doing these, you’re helping to create a culture that is more aware of its actions and more appreciative of those things we so often take for granted.
Even small things such as recycling, working to minimize food waste and installing motion sensor lights can do a lot. Their impact may not be much more than symbolic, but this should never be seen as insignificant.
Building a company culture of gratitude will be better for both your employees and your company. When people are thankful for what they have, they are happier. And happier employees work better and more efficiently. In the end, everyone wins. But this change won’t happen until you decide to make a positive impact on your company’s culture.
About the author: Raj is the Founder of JavaPresse. He started the company to make an impact and spread a message he truly believes in. You can follow them here.