by Roy Saunderson, MA, CRP | November 25, 2019

The holiday season is the perfect time to consider how grateful we are for our jobs and for the people we work with. The following tips for practicing greater gratitude at work are sure to make employees and coworkers (and you) feel better about themselves and the contributions they make in the workplace..

1. Start a culture of gratitude. Gratitude is a rare behavior in the workplace. People report they don't express it enough themselves, even though they want to be thanked more often themselves.

2. Show gratitude for the little things. Express gratitude to people who hold the door open for you or buy you your favorite drink. Share how grateful you are to the person you email for help with work and projects.

3. Gratitude is good for you, as well as others. Sixty percent of people express gratitude to others because it makes them feel good, while nearly as many people say they express gratitude to make other people feel better, too.

4. Being more grateful leads to greater psychological well-being. Become healthier through gratitude: It makes people happier, improves relationships, and potentially even counteracts depression and negative thoughts. 

5. Keep a gratitude journal to note what you are grateful for at work. Record your outlook on people, tasks, the work environment, and how your contributions have made a difference to others. Give it a try for two weeks to determine if it makes you more grateful.

6. Thank people for their overall work contributions. Studies show that when managers express general thanks to people for their work rather than for tangible projects or actions, their happiness increases.

7. Keep track of how often you experience gratitude. Count the number of times you observe yourself feeling grateful. Evidence shows that the more times you experience gratitude, the higher positive emotions you'll encounter.

8. Have your team share gratitude. Increase workplace team gratitude by having everyone share at least one thing they are grateful for in working with individuals in the room or the team as a whole.

9. When problems happen or things go wrong, focus on gratitude. Take time to write down or talk with people about being thankful for the door that was closed through circumstances or divine design. Look to learn from all negative experiences.

10. Let gratitude permeate the way you operate with those you work with. Look for ways to help others with their work problems. Be courteous and civil to everyone you work with and help new employees feel welcome as they settle into their new jobs.

Roy Saunderson is the author of Practicing Recognition: How to give meaningful recognition to people every day. Saunderson is the chief learning officer at Rideau Recognition Solutions where he provides consulting, learning and thought-leadership services focused on helping leaders and managers give real recognition the right way. He can be reached at [email protected], followed on Twitter @RoySaunderson and through his AuthenticRecognition.com blog.