In recent years, employers are spending more time and energy focusing on a holistic approach to employee and customer satisfaction. A very important key ingredient in that mix is Gratitude.

Many business owners have the misconception that gratitude can err toward the mystical. However, there are methods that can produce real results and benefits for a business both internally and externally.

One study in 2020 from the Harvard Business Review found that gratitude at work can lead to a wide range of internal benefits, as well as increased productivity. For example, the HBR study found that employees, when asked to journal about gratitude, reported greater self-control and, according to those working around them, were less rude in the workplace.

It not only benefits your workplace culture, but ultimately impacts the individuals happiness and wellbeing. Research on positive psychology has shown an association between gratitude and increased rates of personal well-being. According to the American Heart Association and Robert A. Emmons of University of California, Davis, being grateful can even reduce blood pressure by as much as 10 percent. 

The case has been made, your organization needs to build a culture of gratitude. Here are five ideas that can get you started:

1. Make it work for everyone:
One’s person version of gratitude might come with a lot of flowers and hearts, while for other’s it may be a simple statement or fact. A powerful resource to understand another person’s gratitude language, could be by reading the book “The five love languages” although this applies to personal relationships, it can help you understand the different ways people express love/gratitude and becoming more aware that everyone is different.

2. Send thank you cards to your clients
A great way to express gratitude externally, is to handwrite a letter to your clients, this could also apply to your own employees. By doing so it is also good customer service and you will develop trust and ultimately it can help increase repurchase rates, and more positive ratings.
This can also be on a call or via email, but there is something really powerful about taking the time to mail a handwritten note.

3. Remember everyone
Often times gratitude will only be expressed to top members of your sales team, because you can directly see the impact and growth in your organization. Consider anyone and everyone from the assistant to the C-suite. By widening the circle of gratitude makes it more deeply felt by all.

4. Celebrate your wins
We see this a lot in organizations that people don’t make any space after accomplishing a goal or for their efforts on a big project to celebrate or express gratitude. People are so focused on the doing that they immeditatly go on to the next thing on their to-do list. However, there is power in consciously and intentionally making space, that being a meeting you schedule after or a dinner you have with your team.

Celebrating your wins helps you cultivate gratitude and experience a sense of joy for your work and contribution.

5. Express gratitude to your team
This one is simple, but often forgotten, saying thanks to your employees. This can take many different forms, from taking them out for lunch, giving them an email shout out, or treating everyone of a coffee run. This can also happen when you give that person a shout out during your company meeting. Whether big or small, it will make people more engaged and excited about what you do as a team.
Being thankful doesn’t cost anything, but it’s rarely done. Take time to thank those around you as well as yourself. You will soon see your culture strengthen by the simple act of giving thanks.