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5 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude at Work

More Happiness, Improved Productivity: Creating a Gracious Work Culture

We all know about the importance of actively practicing gratitude . Being gracious makes us feel happier, helps us develop more resilience when times get tough, reduces stress and anxiety, and even improves our overall health.

And practicing gratitude isn't just for our personal lives, either. It's also important to cultivate a culture of gratitude in the workplace. You might even notice that productivity and happiness increase as a result. With that in mind, here are 5 ways to create a more gracious work culture.

1. Encourage note writing to coworkers and bosses

There's nothing quite like a heartfelt note of gratitude, so encourage your employees (or start the trend yourself) to express thanks to their coworkers.

You can be as simple or as extravagant as you like, too:

  • Leave notecards and pens in the breakroom, with a note welcoming people to express gratitude toward their fellow employees.

  • Similarly, purchase nice stationery, cards, and pens. Leave them out for everyone to use.

  • Or, simply write some notes or emails yourself with no expectations around other people reciprocating.

There are many different ways to encourage people to get on the gratitude bandwagon, so choose an option that works well for your company.

2. Keep a gratitude jar for the workplace

Keep a jar in the kitchen or breakroom with small pieces of paper nearby. Employees can quickly jot down things they're grateful for and then drop them in the jar. At your next all-staff meeting, lunch, or other event, read them all off.

(This is a great practice to implement at home, too!)

3. Share positive customer feedback with the whole team

If you receive notes of gratitude from customers or clients, don't keep them to yourself — let everyone else in the company bask in the appreciation.

This can be an especially nice gesture for people who work in departments that don't interface with clients regularly, and it helps them see (and feel good about) the company's positive impact.

4. Start meetings off with gratitude

If your team is up to it, create a new pre-meeting workplace tradition. Before each meeting starts, or after it ends, ask each person to share something work or project-related that they're grateful about.

Just be sure to warn everyone ahead of time, as some employees might feel uncomfortable if they feel like they've been put on the spot.

5. Find other ways to say “thank you” and express gratitude

There are innumerable ways to express gratitude that go beyond note-writing. Show your coworkers that you appreciate them by:

  • Bringing in food. You could bake something at home or swing by the bagel place on the way into the office. It's a gesture that will always be appreciated.

  • Take a coworker or employee out for lunch or coffee.

  • Make a donation to a cause your employee cares about.

  • Send a small gift that you know the recipient would appreciate. This could be a plant to brighten up their office, a set of their favorite pens, a gift card, or whatever else you can think of.

No matter how you choose to cultivate gratitude at work, it's a process that will pay off tremendously.