Cultivating happiness

Cultivating happiness

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends

This is a guest post from Recognize Your Potential
(Member since 2007)

Contributors:

Floria Aghdamimehr, BSCHE, Consultant, Trainer & Speaker, Workplace Productivity Coach

Gratitude at work can increase productivity up to 50 per cent

Remarkable, but is it even possible? Show gratitude for doing their job? Well, if it is useful in life, chances are it will be beneficial at the workplace.

Did you know that appreciating your team can affect employee engagement, performance, help reach goals, encourage job satisfaction and innovation? Leaders often overlook gratitude because it is so simple. Research confirms appreciation is the single most effective factor in enhancing workplace productivity. In 2012, Stanford Business Magazine reported gratitude can increase productivity between 25 and 66 per cent. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Emergenetics International reported that by implementing gratitude into company culture, employees are more willing to spread their positive feelings with others, whether helping with projects, taking time to recognize those who have gone the extra mile — it’s the mentality of “we’re in this together.”

Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, found after only four months writing gratitude journals, participants were more optimistic, inspired, enthusiastic, attentive and experienced superior meaningful culture. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.

Lea Waters, Psychologist at the University of Melbourne describes Gratitude Deficit Disorder (GDD) as an organizational phenomenon, referring to workplace culture. A culture of gratitude positively affects people — even when we don’t necessarily feel appreciation, but we are in midst of a culture of gratitude. According to American Bureau of Labour in the U.S., 64 per cent of employees leave their jobs because they feel under-valued and unappreciated.

According to a survey of 2,000 Americans released 2013, by the John Templeton Foundation:

• People are less likely to feel or express gratitude at work than anyplace else

• Ninety-three per cent agreed, grateful bosses are more likely to succeed

• Most reported, hearing “thank you” felt good and motivated them

• Almost all respondents reported saying “thank you” to colleagues makes them feel happier and more fulfilled

• Thirty-five per cent believed expressing any gratitude could lead coworkers to take advantage of them

National Institutes of Health (Zahn et al, 2009) found high overall gratitude produced high-levels of activity in the hypothalamus, which controls eating, drinking and sleeping — with a huge influence on stress levels. Gratitude improved sleep, decreased depression and participants had fewer aches and pains.

Five ways to cultivate a culture of gratitude

• As manager, highlight what is working rather than what is not

• Speak highly of colleagues especially when not present

• Be the colleague you want to work with

• Write “thank you” in different languages

• Thank those who may not get thanked

Make it a challenge to be appreciative and grateful. Don’t worry — your team, co-workers or your boss won’t take advantage of you when you show gratitude at the workplace. You might even be surprised with the results. Managers who say “thank you” to their team may find their employees feel motivated to work harder.

Gratitude is important for building workplace trust and a positive corporate culture. Many effective leaders have switched to appreciation to help manage or avoid unnecessary stress. The results of employing gratitude as a strategy are surprisingly beneficial. Introducing a culture of gratitude builds trust and enables productivity to soar!

Floria Aghdamimehr, specializes in leadership and building trust for positive workplace culture to intensify productivity.

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends

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