Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

The Importance of Gratitude in the Workplace

This blog post was written by Peer Career Ambassador, Davele Zephyr ’19.          

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and usually around this time, we start to assess what we are grateful for—family, friends, health, but what about our workplace? We all know that the culture in the workplace matters! In fact, most of us look to see if company values align with ours before choosing an employer to work for. In order to preserve that workplace climate that you fell in love with when you accepted your offer, you need to be mindful of how expressing just a little bit of gratitude in the office can boost morale and promote a healthy culture. Here are a few steps you can take to continuously foster gratitude as a key part of your company’s culture.

Practice gratitude on a daily basis. Regardless of your position in an organization, be willing to express appreciation for daily tasks. As an intern, appreciation may look like telling an Associate thank you for showing you how to complete a task or sending a “Thank You” email to your recruiter to commend all of their hard-work in organizing all of your internship activities. As a full-time employee, acknowledge employees both above and below you in rank who have done something to make your working experience more manageable, this can be as simple as a colleague grabbing a copy from the printer for you. Once you put this into practice regularly, not only will colleagues feel comfortable working with you, but you will also inspire those around you to perform some of your practices.

Be sincere. Usually when you lead a team, your team mates will know when your gratitude is genuine and as result, they tend to put in extra effort. But, if you are insincere and just say thank you just for the sake of saying thank you, the performance of your team mates may not change or even worse, decrease because they perceive your expression as insincere. With that said, don’t keep count of the frequency of the ways you show your gratitude, instead, focus on the quality of the expressions you give.

Say thank you to those you’ve learned from. It is absolutely okay and human to admit that you do not know everything. Revealing that aspects of your success are owed to people and experiences you’ve learned from in the past allows you to come off as humble. In doing so, your colleagues perceive you as “teachable” where they feel comfortable and willing to support you as you advance in your career.

So you see, expressing your gratitude definitely plays a role in shaping an organization’s culture and with the tips mentioned above, you can absolutely play a role in facilitating that. So this Thanksgiving season, think about ways that you can show appreciation both at school and in the workplace.