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Practicing Gratitude at the Workplace

Since childhood, almost all Americans have come to associate the Thanksgiving holiday with practicing gratitude. It begins in school, perhaps with show & tell exercises or crafting of thank-you notes. Even as adults, we are made well-aware that being thankful can reap many mental health benefits. What if we extend our gratitude from our personal to professional lives? Could this also make us happier, healthier professionals? We say yes! Here are some easy ways to practice gratitude at your job:

  1. Simply say thank you. Sure, he’s just “doing his job,” but everyone appreciates a pat on the back once in awhile. When someone’s work is really meaningful to the department, let them know. Compliments are most effective when used sparingly and genuinely. They spread a positive attitude amongst the whole office and can help to cool down a heated moment. Alternatively, when someone else compliments you, accept it graciously.

  2. Love your space. Whether your desk is in an open office space or a cubicle or the corner office, show gratitude to your environment by treating it well. Design it to be calming, organized, and reflective of your personality, or, at bare minimum, spend 10 minutes at the end of each day cleaning up a bit. Your workspace is a bit of a home away from home, so take an active effort to show it some love.

  3. Smile & celebrate. Rather than sneak a piece of cake and leave (we see you, Becky from accounting), spend some time socializing at the next office birthday party. Even though team-building might not be your thing - though we totally think it should be - there’s never any harm in fostering good morale.

  4. Show respect. It takes absolutely no talent or skillset to show up on time and with a good attitude. The best way to practice gratitude in the workplace is to display respect to your superiors, your direct reports, and everyone else, even when disagreeing.

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