3 Ways to Promote Gratitude in the Workplace


As the Thanksgiving season approaches, we here at Vanderbloemen are delighted to take the opportunity to highlight how a culture of gratitude is beneficial to your staff and greatly pleasing to the Lord. We are reminded of the importance of gratitude and thankfulness in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, which calls us to, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” Colossians 3:15 also has a gentle reminder for us to, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.”  

Thanksgiving is a great time to be encouraged to choose gratitude as a posture and discipline. When leaders model genuine gratefulness in the workplace, they are promoting an empathic team culture. Employees who feel valued and appreciated are vital to any successful, results-driven team. Here are a few impactful ways to promote gratitude in the workplace and cultivate an environment of appreciation among employees.

  1. Personalized Expressions of Gratitude: Assuming that every employee wants to be appreciated in the same way can be a pitfall for large organizations. Expressions of gratitude should be tailored to each individual team member. Whether it’s a handwritten thank you card, verbal acknowledgment of a job well done, or a surprise care package, expressions of gratitude should be carefully thought out to meet the personality style of the recipient. Send out a simple survey for employees to fill out before deciding on which medium of communication to use when expressing gratitude. Keeping in mind that preferences differ will ensure a positive, heartfelt reaction.

  2. Consistency is Key. In order to be effective, gratitude must be embedded into the team culture year-round. A good practice is to set aside a few moments at the beginning of weekly staff meetings to express what you, as a leader, are grateful for. These brief minutes will have an immediate beneficial impact on team members who are being acknowledged. Gratitude expressed consistently can also lead team members to form deeper connections to the work they are executing. Say thank you often, because it is contagious. Soon enough, employees will begin to demonstrate their own thankfulness to team members and further the gratitude culture.

  3. Offer a time and a place for rest. The team members who work the hardest are often the ones that need to be reminded to rest and revitalize the most. A great way to show sincere gratitude is to offer time off. This could be in the form of a rest space in the office where team members can step away for a 30-minute coffee break or offering a paid day off where the only objective is to rest and recharge.  In many work environments, employees feel nervous and hesitant to ask for time off. When leaders go out of their way and offer unsolicited periods of rest, they are acknowledging the hard work and dedication of the team. Every successful leader can testify that fostering a sustainable work environment that includes rest and balance is vital to any high-performing environment.

The research on the importance of gratitude in the workplace is clear: gratitude has many beneficial effects on mental, physical, and spiritual health. It is a simple, effective practice to integrate into your organization. The consistent practice of gratitude in the workplace will lead to an environment where employees are inspired to be authentic and passionate about their work. Tell your staff you are thankful for them this Thanksgiving and remember to show your staff gratitude year-round. You’ll be grateful you did! ​​

For more information on how to foster a contagious company culture, check out Culture Wins: The Roadmap to an Irresistible Workplace by William Vanderbloemen. 

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