Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the things for which we’re grateful. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with many excellent companies. I enjoy helping you find the right team member to reach your goals, and for that I thank you.
In recent years, there has been a substantial amount of research into the physiological and psychological benefits of gratitude. In the workplace, expressing gratitude can mean the difference between employee engagement and employee apathy. The following are the three main takeaways from that research.
According to Harvard Health, managers who remember to say “thank you” to people who work for them may find that those employees feel motivated to work harder. Researchers at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, randomly divided university fund-raisers into two groups. One group made phone calls to solicit alumni donations in the same way they always had. The second group — assigned to work on a different day — received a pep talk from the director of annual giving, who told the fund-raisers she was grateful for their efforts. During the following week, the university employees who heard her message of gratitude made 50% more fund-raising calls than those who did not.
These kinds of results may be explained in part because gratitude boosts brain function, activating brain regions associated with the neurotransmitter dopamine, the “reward” neurotransmitter. Dopamine plays an important role in initiating action. By contrast, stress suppresses activity in the prefrontal cortex which is home to executive function and creative thinking.
Research cited by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that showing gratitude can increase a person’s wellness, enhance sleep habits, increase metabolism and lessen stress. This occurs due to increased blood flow and activity in the hypothalamus, which controls a huge array of essential body functions and influences metabolism and stress levels. This phenomenon directly impacts work results and employee interaction. By showing employee appreciation, you’re not only boosting performance and engagement, but the employee’s well-being and health as well.
In an era of skyrocketing health costs, improving employee health is an outcome worth pursuing. You can reduce costs, improve performance, and improve retention all at the same time.
Employee Engagement Through Improved Corporate Culture:
The great thing about gratitude is that it’s contagious. When employees receive expressions of gratitude, they’re more inclined to social and pro-social interaction, expressing gratitude in return, according to Emergenetics.com
When gratitude practices are implemented into company culture, employees are more willing to spread their positive feelings with others, whether it’s helping out with a project or taking time to notice and recognize those that have gone the extra mile. This environment produces a great company culture and enhances both employee engagement and retention.