How a Little Gratitude Can Go a Long Way
While we are all brought up being taught to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, in today’s fast-paced, hyper-connected and often flexible working world, it’s probably not said enough. HR leaders have entire strategies and budgets dedicated to rewarding and recognising their staff; but what about the unsung heroes, those who work when everyone is out or who quietly contribute to the business operations overall? The truth is we could all say thank you more often.
Here at The Clean Space we like to take time to show our appreciation and pass on the positive comments from our clients. Whenever there’s an opportunity to celebrate – our CEO hand-writes a little card to the member of staff to say ‘thank you’ personally. It’s a small touch that our staff love. We feel that a little gratitude goes a long way and there’s more benefits to a small ‘thank you’ than you might realise…
Being Thankful is Good for You
As far as positive psychology goes, gratitude is strongly linked to personal wellbeing and happiness. Being thankful is shown to make us more positive, more resilient and improve our relationships too.
People who regularly take time to notice and note the things they’re thankful for, experience more positive emotions, sleep better, and express more compassion and kindness toward others. That’s great for business and for us as individuals! Grateful people tend to have lower blood pressure, improved immunity, healthier hearts and better mental health. By focussing on the positives each day, our outlook on life, work and our problems generally start to improve.
Martin Seligman, a leader in the field of Positive Psychology, wrote “when we take time to notice the things that go right – it means we’re getting a lot of little rewards throughout the day” – it’s a virtuous cycle that only makes you feel better and better. Every time you express or receive gratitude, your brain releases dopamine, making a recurring connection between the action and feeling good. It also helps reduce stress reactions in your body.
It is a Long-Term Motivator
Appreciation and recognition for a job well done has also been found to be more of a motivator than money. Glassdoor research highlighted that “80% of employees would be willing to work harder for an appreciative boss, and 70% said they’d feel better about themselves and their efforts if their boss thanked them more regularly”.
“Gratitude is the ultimate performance-enhancing substance at work,”
Professor R. Emmons, author of The Little Book of Gratitude: Creating a Life of Happiness and Wellbeing.
The Benefits of Creating a Gratitude Culture at Work
A study of over 1200 UK workers published in The Magic Word for Business Growth Report, found that “40% of workers said they would feel less motivated to work hard if their employer did nothing to say ‘thank you’ or show gratitude for a job well done”. Almost half said that “rarely receiving any form of thanks or gratitude from their employer would make them want to leave the company” – showing the importance of developing a culture of appreciation at work. Recruitment and retention aren’t the only areas to benefit either – simply saying ‘thank you’ more often can:
- Improve culture and reciprocity – Reports shows that gratitude inspires people to be more generous, helpful and “pro-social”.
- Improve productivity – Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found grateful leaders motivate their employees to be more productive. In one study, fundraisers who were thanked by their managers made 50% more fundraising calls than their co-workers. Not just that but the improved sleep helps enormously too.
- Strengthen relationships as gratitude increases empathy and sensitivity toward others – According to a study by the University of Kentucky, participants who practised gratitude were more sensitive toward others and less likely to seek revenge or retaliation when given negative feedback! By opening dialogue in a positive way through appreciation, they in return are more likely to be honest and up front with you.
- Bolster a more positive outlook, reducing workplace stress
- Reinforce pride in people’s work and motivate them longer term
- Drive job satisfaction and purpose
- Improve employee wellbeing, (reducing absenteeism and presenteeism too)
- Increase staff resilience in challenging times
It’s Thank Your Cleaner Day on 16th October so we urge you to think about the wonderful people who help keep your offices clean and safe. Often working in the background, or out of office hours, these people dedicate their working lives to keeping your businesses running smoothly and presentably day in and day out but get very little recognition for their work. Take a moment to pass on your gratitude – it could make all the difference to someone.