We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in New Zealand, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be thankful in our everyday lives. Although gratitude might seem more relevant to your personal life, it’s actually beneficial in business as well.
Practising gratitude doesn’t mean you can’t keep striving for more, it just means being aware of what you’ve achieved and how you got there. And it’s not all touchy-feely waffle either – studies have proven that a grateful outlook makes a huge difference to individuals and business outcomes.
Here’s why practising gratitude in your business, and encouraging your staff to do the same, can be so powerful.
1: Gratitude and achievement
Research has shown that grateful people tend to be higher achievers, whether in academics, sports, or in the working world. Feeling gratitude tends to make you feel more positive and hopeful, which can make you more determined in turn. If you’re running a business, positive, high-achieving staff are exactly what you need.
2: Boosting engagement
Unmotivated, disengaged team members are a huge problem in many businesses. If you’re a manager or business owner, showing gratitude can be valuable to help boost staff engagement. That means telling your people you appreciate their work, offering positive feedback, and rewarding achievement through bonuses, staff events, or little extras. It makes sense that being appreciated makes people more engaged with their work – after all, what’s the point if nobody notices what you’re doing?
3: Emotional wellbeing and stress
Gratitude is linked to higher levels of emotional wellbeing, and lower levels of stress. If you’re running a business, big or small, you’ll know that reducing stress can make a huge difference, helping you make better decisions, get more done, and offer better service. That’s why practising gratitude is worth doing.
4: A culture of positivity
Building a positive work culture can seem impossible, particularly if you and your team have established negative habits over the years. Practising gratitude towards your team, and encouraging them to express it to each other, can be a good way to foster a positive team culture. Even better, positivity and gratitude tend to create a feedback loop – if you express gratitude towards your team, it becomes easier for them to show gratitude to each other, and eventually becomes a natural part of your work culture.
5: Give thanks, increase retention
You don’t need a study to tell you that employees who are appreciated and engaged are less likely to leave. Retention is a huge problem for many businesses, and gratitude can help. Showing your people that you see and appreciate their hard work is a powerful motivator, and can help keep them around for longer.
6: Resilience counts
A grateful, positive attitude has been linked to resilience and recovery after a trauma. Although you’re not likely to experience major trauma at work, resilience is incredibly beneficial when it comes to smaller failures, and interpersonal conflicts as well. When you’re just starting out in business, the ability to bounce back after a setback is crucial.
7: Combating conflict
Negative, toxic attitudes in the workplace naturally breed conflict – if you’re already feeling angry and unappreciated, it doesn’t take much to make you lash out at a workmate. Building a positive, grateful culture can help. Positive employees are less likely to react badly to perceived slights, and more likely to treat their co-workers with respect.
8: Gratitude and your customers
Not only will positive, grateful employees provide better customer service, but expressing gratitude to your customers can make them feel more positive about your business too. That could mean changing the language on your website or outgoing emails to thank customers, rewarding loyal customers or clients, or simply instructing customer-facing staff to thank every customer.
Boost your results – and feel good too!
Practising gratitude might not sound like it has much place in the business world, but it can be a powerful way to boost your results – and feel good while you’re at it.
Want to find more ways to boost your business? Get in touch for coaching, mentoring, and other support.