Gratitude is a wonderful practice. Focusing our minds on what makes us happy, even the tiny things, can turn our moods around and help us find our bliss each day. We can often find moments of happiness even in the busiest days – a smiling child, a huge bear hug, watching your favorite show, or sharing a laugh with your spouse.
If you enjoy practicing gratitude at home, you might want to bring those effects with you to work. The workplace can be a challenging environment for cultivating gratitude. How can thankfulness coexist with competition and ambition? But let’s remember that our teams work better when we support each other and lift each other up. A great way to do that is to practice gratitude together.
Practicing gratitude at work may require taking some risks, but the results are worth it. Here are some ideas to help us find more opportunities for mindful gratitude practice and finding our joy at work.
Cultivating Gratitude on Your Own
We each control our attitude and experiences. There are many things you can do to feel more grateful in our workplace. These strategies are some ideas you can try to cultivate an environment of gratitude.
Show appreciation to your co-workers by getting to know them. Make time for small talk and follow up with things going on in their lives at home.
Remember special occasions. Congratulate others work anniversaries. Wish your colleagues a Happy Birthday and a happy holiday, depending on what holidays they celebrate.
Communicate in person. Thanking others in person makes a deeper impression than sending an email. Drop by their office or invite them out to lunch.
Be inclusive. Reach out to employees who tend to be less visible. For example: acknowledge the cleaning crew and think about how their efforts make your life more pleasant.
Keep a journal. If you’re struggling to come up with something nice to say, try writing down your positive experiences as they happen. You can use a notebook or an app on your phone. A former manager of mine used to tell me to keep an “attagirl” file and save emails or make note of a conversation. That way I could look back at it during performance review season, and whenever I felt too stressed out.
Cultivating Gratitude with Your Colleagues
Help your employer encourage a culture of gratitude. Do your part to help yourself and others feel more appreciated. Here are some ideas to encourage gratitude at work.
Speak up at meetings. Start or end staff meetings by inviting the team to thank anyone who made a special contribution recently.
Celebrate together. Get together to celebrate milestones like completing a major project or landing a new client. Recognize the individual and combined efforts that go into each success.
Personalize your approach. Each of us has our own preferences for how we like to be thanked. You may enjoy public praise while your colleague would rather receive a private thank you.
Bring in treats. Bring a box of donuts or kolaches into the office one day, or to a meeting. Sharing food is one way to develop relationships.
Exchange gifts. Thoughtful gifts can express gratitude even if your budget is limited. Give each team member a little something. Make it a habit to return from vacations and business trips with a box of salt water taffy or chocolates, for example.
Share support. The most authentic and meaningful way to show gratitude may be to help your coworkers out on a consistent basis. Lend a hand when someone is facing a tight deadline. Volunteer to cover their tasks while they take a mental health day.
Focus on the positive aspects of your job and let your coworkers know how they brighten up your working life. Experiencing more gratitude at work will increase your job satisfaction and may even help you to advance in your career.
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This post is part of the 31 Tips for Working Moms series. See the rest of the posts here: