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by Roy Saunderson | November 19, 2014
As far as work and Thanksgiving are concerned, everyone will be more excited to leave work to be with family and friends than to be thankful for work. But that doesn't mean we can't be more grateful for the jobs and careers we have. Our challenge is knowing what we each can do to create a more Thanksgiving-like attitude at work. This month's Top 10 sheds some light on this idea.

1. Create meaningful work opportunities. In a recent American Management Association survey, they asked what people are thankful for at work and the highest ranked item is "the professional satisfaction it provides me." Check in regularly with employees to learn what could make their work more energizing.

2. Encourage positive work relationships. Next on the AMA list was, understandably, one's co-workers. Often we stop people from communicating and forming friendships at work. Even the Gallup Q12 measures having a best friend at work. Orchestrate opportunities to have fun, break bread, exercise, play, and celebrate together.

3. Make sure each "boss" is a good one. Never take this for granted because a great boss appreciates and values employees. A bad boss can kill them. Working for an uncivil, toxic boss increases the risk of a heart attack by 17 percent and increases the likelihood of a stroke by 33 percent. Stop bad boss behavior immediately.

4. Gratitude is even good for you. Well-deserved thanks and expressions of appreciation make an impact on people's health. The Institute of Heart Math found that individuals who received appreciation and gratitude had greater harmony in their heart rhythms. Don't think they are just doing their jobs -- thank them!

5. Cut out saying negative things to people -- period. In high performing teams researchers found the ratio of positive to negative statements directed from manager to team members was 5.6 to 1.These managers gave five times more positive statements than negative. Watch your mouth, and be more positive!

6. Develop relationships versus "engaging" employees. When we get romantically involved with someone we build a relationship first before popping the engagement question. The same thing applies at work -- focus on the relationships between people. Look at building a person up, and connecting with them.

7. Use emails and social media to be social. We are becoming a cryptic, impersonal society in how we communicate in any form of written text. Use the polite social graces of writing "please" and "Thank you so much! I am really grateful." Not only will you make people feel good they will also be more likely to help you.

8. When you have a good boss, thank him or her. Here's an interesting thought from the John Templeton Foundation Study on Gratitude. The study found that 74 percent of people never or rarely express gratitude to their boss. Yet they want their boss to express gratitude to them. Start emulating the actions you want to receive from others.

9. Never give a gift or an award alone. No matter what tangible form of appreciation you might give someone, always add a card or note to share your feelings and thoughts for the recipient. Specifically acknowledge the employee for what she has done and share your heartfelt appreciation for her contributions.

10. Start things right with giving thanks. Begin each day with sending out an email of gratitude to someone who has made a difference to you. Put praise and acknowledgments at the beginning of each meeting agenda and have people share the great things that are happening. If you start right, you will end right.

Incentive columnist Roy Saunderson is author of
Giving the Real Recognition Way and is the Chief Learning Officer of Rideau's Recognition Management Institute, a consulting a training company which helps leaders and managers get recognition right. He can be reached at RoySaunderson@Rideau.com. Also, check out the library of Real Recognition Radio shows.