Saying thank you is one of the cornerstones of good manners: we learn it from an early age as a sign of gratitude and respect for others. As we grow older, we continue to do this not only verbally but also through work emails and thank-you notes after an event.
It’s not just a matter of politeness: saying thank you has a higher value, both in personal relationships and in the professional sphere.
The benefits of gratitude
Creating a culture of gratitude in the workplace has multiple benefits that positively influence the working environment, strengthening team working, sense of belonging and helpfulness between colleagues. Let’s discover the main ones together.
1. Being grateful improves well-being
People who are grateful for the little things and people in their lives have a more positive outlook on the world, which is reflected in their mood, sleep quality and the way they relate to others. According to a study published in Frontiers in Psychology, gratitude is correlated with brain activity, more specifically with moral cognition, value judgement (ethical criteria) and the so-called ‘theory of mind’ (the ability to understand the mental states of others).
2. Grateful people manage stress better
People who are able to appreciate their surroundings and show it every day, even with a simple thank you, are able to have a positive outlook which helps to protect themselves from stress and anxiety that can occur in the presence of work-related problems.
3. Gratitude blocks negative behaviour
Hearing people say thank you reduces feelings of envy and resentment, which contribute to toxic work environments. People feel more valued in this way, thus becoming more involved in the corporate culture.
4. A good mood helps customer relations
People who are happy, motivated and feel encouraged are more satisfied with their work: they perform better, have more trust in their team and seek employment elsewhere.
This results in a more stable image of the company and better treatment of customers and business partners.
How to create a culture of gratitude?
Thanking often and sincerely, as mentioned above, stems mainly from the education received during training years. However some environments, especially the most competitive ones, can undermine this positive attitude.
Good example must always come first and foremost from management: a heartfelt thank you to team members helps to strengthen self-esteem, a sense of belonging and to maintain good social ties, based on confrontation and the importance of working together.
Thanking people should not only be performance-related, but also based on all those small actions that improve life in the company: making a useful contribution during a meeting, bringing a coffee or volunteering for a team building event.
We all want to feel appreciated, so the starting point is to thank others for their efforts.