Growing Through Gratitude

April 15, 2014
by Pablo Valdivia

“Thank you” is a phrase much more powerful than some let on. Being thankful shouldn’t be an emotion reserved solely for turkey-dinner holidays, it should be encompassing sentiment by which people run not only their businesses, but also their lives. All too often we as a society tend to focus solely on the bad and never once blink our eyes to sit in the stillness that is the good, no matter how mundane it may seem. Once we are receptive to this, then we can then create a space within ourselves that allows an array of positive opportunities to enter our lives.

For entrepreneurs and other business leaders lucky enough to have employees, it is beneficial to foster a gratitude-based atmosphere within your company. The start of this begins with never taking your company or its strides for granted, because if you don’t exude optimism, then there is no reason for your employees to provide it either. Showing that you are mindful for both your position and power within the company allows other professionals to respect your position as well. Paying it forward means outwardly demonstrating that self-gratitude by allowing your employees, co-workers, and customers to feel it too.

 Displaying gratitude doesn’t have to be as formulaic as a free coffee mug or company dinner, it’s the simple act of letting co-workers and employees know that they are being seen, heard, and valued. A 2012 survey conducted among 1,714 adults by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that half of all employees who claimed that they feel underappreciated at work intended to look for a new job in the next year and that 93% of the employees who said they do feel valued were far more motivated to do their best work.[1] The outcome of putting value on good work far exceeds the consequences of putting employees in the periphery. This can be as simple as acknowledging the work itself and the effort that was put behind it. It’s often the case that people chase small cracks in walls when they don’t realize that the building itself is still standing. In other words, it’s not bad to try and fix mistakes within your company, but that doesn’t mean that the foundation that is keeping that very company running doesn’t deserve some of the focus.

 Running a business will always have its rough patches and can many times seem discouraging when it feels like the ground beneath you is perpetually crumbling. It is in these times that practicing gratitude can effectively sustain both your business and your overall well-being. One such way to do so is by keeping a gratitude journal. There is a power and permanency in written words that speaking cannot compare to. Writing down five things in which you are grateful for on a daily basis can have the potential to lift your spirits, allowing you to work for a higher purpose and lets your employees see that their work serves that very purpose.

 The key to effectively creating a culture of gratitude within the workplace is to be sincere in all that you do and say. Without genuine sincerity, even the words “thank you” become an empty shell of their own potential. No matter how’s it executed, the act of being grateful is a fantastic business strategy that employees not only demand, but deserve.