How Does Gratitude Impact Your Team?

Jan 14, 2016, Written by Amy Tressitt

Gratitude in Business

I was born in the South. If you have ever heard me speak, you would have no doubt about this fact. I say, “Yes, ma’am” and “Yes, sir.” I say, “Please” and “thank you.” And I can tell you “no” without you ever knowing it.

When I was in the corporate world with a national company, I was told by my manager once that my southern ways, “made me sound unintelligent,” as was said by one of the Midwestern bigwigs.  I was offended. I wanted to take speech classes to remove my southern accent, and work to delete my southern ways.

However, I later came to my senses. I would not apologize for politeness. I would not apologize for expressing respect and gratitude.

I love the quote from writer, William Ward, “God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one of them to say thank you?”

Gratitude Has an Impact on Your Business

It is something so often forgotten in the business world by upper management and small business owners. The Owner-Employee relationship, it’s a mutual relationship, right? Employees do the work assigned and owners give them a paycheck. An equal exchange, if you will. But what about a simple, “Thank you?”

Janice Kaplan in her new book, The Gratitude Diaries, cites a recent survey of 2,000 Americans about their thoughts on gratitude:

  • 81 percent of respondents said that they’d be willing to work harder for an appreciative boss.
  • 70 percent said they’d feel better about themselves and their efforts if their boss thanked them more regularly.
  • And yet, gratitude at the office appears to be a pretty rare thing, with just 10 percent of survey respondents saying that they regularly showed their colleagues gratitude.

Favorable Impacts for the Giver and Receiver

Gratitude has a very important role to play for both the person giving and the person receiving.

There have been many scientific studies conducted over the last 50 years dealing with the effects of appreciation, on both the giver and the receiver, that I couldn’t even begin to list them all. But, I will feel free to paraphrase a few of the benefits.

  1. Gratitude improves the giver’s overall well-being. Grateful people are more likely to take care of their health, so therefore experience fewer aches and pains, and report feeling healthier than other people. Psychologically, gratitude reduces toxic emotions (envy, resentment, frustration and regret) and increases happiness. And grateful people sleep better.
  2. Gratitude increases the receiver’s motivation. When having received a “thank you,” a person was two-thirds more likely to offer additional help to the giver. Not surprising, right?  BUT, it also makes the receiver 50% more likely to offer support to others asking for similar help. The “Pass It On” effect.
  3. Gratitude increases mental strength. It reduces stress and plays a major role in overcoming trauma. For example, Vietnam War Veterans with higher levels of gratefulness experienced lower rates of PTSD. As did the survivors of 911.

God gives us so many gifts. And in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, God commands us to be thankful for everything and everyone.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

We all have the ability and opportunity to cultivate gratitude, so make sure you take some time today to do so.

What are some ways you have seen gratitude benefit you? Do you feel like showing appreciation to your team enhances morale and performance?

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Amy Tressitt

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