We keep hearing all about communicating and engaging more with employees. Whether it be through performance-based feedback or monthly team bonding events, you should show that you’re paying attention and that you know what your employees are doing. Plus, a little appreciation never hurt anyone. The following benefits prove why engaging and showing some gratitude can help your employees and your overall organization.
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1. HELPS CREATES RELATIONSHIPS
Relationships are fundamental when it comes to the workplace. Without them, work can seem boring and obsolete. Showing gratitude, even with just a simple “thank you” can help create these relationships and friendships in the workplace. In the words of psychologist Sara Algoe, gratitude serves as a relationship strengthener and helps build the framework of a relationship. Who knew creating connections could be so easy? Being gracious to your employees is not only free, it’s smart.
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2. IMPROVES YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH
Surprisingly, health and the act of being grateful have shown a great correlation. According to WebMD, people with gratitude tend to take better care of themselves. They are more eager to engage in fitness activities and get frequent check-ups. Gratitude also decreases aches and pains in an individual, and that may be because it acts as a stress reducer. So, if you’ve felt a little off or achy lately, a simple “thank you” to someone could be what you need!
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3. BENEFITS YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
If gratitude can impact your physical health, then it makes sense that it also helps with mental and psychological health as well. According to Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., gratitude decreases depression. It also reduces other emotions that can create a toxic environment. Does your office seem a little “on edge”? Take some time to show everyone just how much they are appreciated. Take one small step for building culture with a smile and a thank you!
4. REDUCES FORMS OF AGGRESSION
As stated previously, gratitude decreases many toxic emotions that we all experience; the biggest of which is aggression. A 2012 study done by the University of Kentucky showed that people who show more gratitude are open to being more social and well-behaved, even when others are less kind to them. These individuals are less likely to act out and experience more sensitivity and empathy. This also included being met with types of negative feedback. So, if communicating negative feedback is something that you or your managers struggle with, being sure to implement gratitude throughout your team could be the answer you’ve been searching for. Think of it as banking gratitude for a rainy day.
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5. BOOSTS THAT SELF-ESTEEM
We all struggle with low self-esteem at some point right? Well, expressing gratitude could be your answer to putting those low feelings to rest, which is beneficial for you and your entire team. Gratitude was shown to decrease social comparisons and help grow an appreciation for other people’s accomplishments as well as your own. This is a great way to help your team grow and work together!
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6. PROVIDES A BETTER NIGHT’S SLEEP
Taking some time to be thankful can actually help provide you with a better night’s sleep. With the reduction of stress and toxic emotions, it’s no wonder you’ll soon be sleeping easy. Whether you just think about it, or actually take time to write down what you are grateful for, as suggested by the 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, your sleep will be improved in no time!
7. STRETCHES THOSE BRAIN MUSCLES
As well as helping mental health, it also helps with mental strength. This means you can more easily deal with, and ultimately overcome, trauma. A 2006 study was able to find a correlation between showing gratitude and a decrease in rates of PTSD symptoms in Vietnam War Vets. The idea is to realize what you, and others around you, are thankful for even in the worst of times. This creates a resilience and helps foster a way to cope.
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Gratitude is something that we all have the power to express, and it can make a world of difference, especially in a workplace where people work closely together. Is this something you feel your team can benefit from? Have “gratitude meetings” and discuss what you are thankful for when it comes to work and the work of others. Or, simply start with yourself and see the change that occurs.
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