The Importance of Gratitude at Work
The concept of “gratitude” has come up a lot in the last few weeks.
As a Zapponian, there is certainly a lot to be thankful for – I’m sure in a heartbeat, you can name at least five things that you appreciate and have gratitude for (go ahead, try it).
However, in the everyday crazy of work and life, sometimes we just forget to explicitly show our appreciation - for not only the big things we have here at work (e.g. having a job, great benefits, or a great mentor), but also the small stuff (e.g. someone behind the scenes who consistently delivers good work and may not normally receive praise, someone who inspires you, but you’ve never said anything, or even someone that made you feel better just because they smiled at you).
But what if...
We took just two minutes, every day, to send a simple slack message, email or text that shows your gratitude for someone or something?
How would that change your work day?
How would that change the work day of others?
Gratitude isn’t just about making others feel good. Dozens of studies over the last couple decades have shown that showing gratitude for anything, not just work stuff, is a key component of personal happiness and well-being.
So Why Not Take Next Action?
1. Send a note of gratitude to ONE PERSON you’re thankful for today - and not “just because”, be specific with your why (trust me, it will mean a LOT more and the feeling will last a LOT longer).
2. Visit the Generating Gratitude Slack Channel and tell us ONE THING you’re grateful for.
With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. It helps people feel more in touch with their positive emotions; it helps people reflect and see the good in ALL their experiences. Gratitude helps improve us all improve overall health and well-being. Gratitude helps us deal with uncertainty and adversity better and it helps us all build stronger, deeper relationships.
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
A few posts back I shared, Reversing The Formula For Happiness and Success, a simple approach on how you can increase happiness and well-being in the workplace, and therefore increasing your opportunity to be successful.
One of the components of the formula was adding a two-minute exercise focused on gratitude every day, for 21 days. You can look at this as "building a habit" around gratitude.
The first time I personally did this exercise dated back to our days of "Teal" and the "Teal Offer" back in 2015. There was a great need to practice gratitude in this time. The company was divided and in shambles as people were tormented with a decision to leave or stay at Zappos. A few of us decided to pull together a program called "Teal Talks", which was as opportunity for people to share their stories, their decisions, and ultimately to learn and grow from others and their stories and decisions.
The practice of gratitude was a key component of Teal Talks. It was not only a life-saver for me, but so many other Zapponians, during really tough times.
During this period, I remember taking the time at the beginning of each day to write down the things, no matter how small or big, that I was most thankful for in that moment. At the end of every day, i would send a note to at least one person showing gratitude for the things they did for me, or how they made me feel, or the wonderful things they did for our community. It was truly an impacting experience, one I will never forget.
Gratitude is a gift.
The greatest thing about gratitude is that it's free and easy to do. Gratitude is a selfless act and best served unconditionally, but regardless of when you do it and why, it's a powerful tool that shows people that they are appreciated. And THAT, in itself, can change the world.
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