Expressing gratitude at work has been shown to improve the outlook, productivity, and even the health of the person expressing the gratitude as well as the person receiving it. Turning daily gratitude into a practice is an easy way to help your team feel more cohesive, more energized, and more appreciated.
Perhaps the best thing about gratitude is that it is easy. It may take some practice at first to identify things to be grateful for and ways to express it, especially if you’re someone who tends to see the glass as half empty, but making a habit of gratitude will help you shift that attitude. The more you express your gratitude, the more you’ll notice to be grateful for.
Here are five simple ways that you can practice giving thanks at work.
1. A weekly gratitude meeting.
It’s easy to get caught up on deadlines and project milestones. But you and your team members are doing good work every day. If you take ten minutes once a week to write a group email or hold a brief meeting in which you state something that each team member did well that week, you’ll help everyone see that their work is appreciated. You’ll also set a good example and encourage more gratitude within the team.
2. Keep a gratitude journal.
A line-a-day journal takes less than a minute to update every day, but it can have huge effects on your outlook and overall wellbeing. Before you head out the door each day, write down one thing from work that you’re grateful for. Maybe that day you’re grateful that you get to go home or that you’re making a decent living. That’s ok. Finding little things to be grateful for on frustrating days can make all the difference between taking those frustrations home and letting them go.
3. Avoid gossip and complaining.
Gossiping and complaining offer their own twisted pleasures, but those pleasures often come at the expense of others. Focusing on negatives will make you see the world through a negative lens, and that’s no good for you or the people around you. When people start to gossip about the new hire or the boss, turn the topic another direction or remove yourself from the conversation.
4. Do good work for others.
One great way to express gratitude is to pass on your gifts and talents to others. At work, that might mean getting involved with a non-profit that your business supports, mentoring younger team members, or getting your company to donate its used supplies.
5. Practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness is all about staying present in the moment. At work, in particular, it’s easy to get caught in a cycle of thinking about the next promotion or the next project. Remember to be present where you are and appreciate all that’s good about your current job, your current team, and your current assignments. Staying present will help you get the most out of every day and better equip you to move forward when the time comes.