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Culture of Gratitude Improves Employee Engagement, Satisfaction & Retention

In this competitive job market, it’s more important than ever that employers express appreciation for their staff. These days, many businesses are going beyond traditional employee recognition programs that occasionally acknowledge contributions or hand out awards.

Companies that want to improve employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention have begun integrating workplace gratitude into their corporate culture.

Gratitude vs. Appreciation

When you appreciate something, you see the positives in events, experiences, or other people, according to the University of California, Berkeley.

Gratitude goes a step further. It recognizes how the positive things in our lives – like a success at work – are often due to forces outside of ourselves, particularly the efforts of other people.”

Benefits of Gratitude

If our success (or our company’s) is tied to the efforts of others, it makes sense to recognize those efforts. Even something as simple as a manager thanking their team makes employees feel respected and valued.

When management embraces gratitude, they give their staff unspoken permission to do the same. Peer-to-peer gratitude fosters teamwork and encourages camaraderie, helping workers – especially remote workers – to view one another as people.

“Research shows that an attitude of gratitude can lead to improved physical health, make you more optimistic and less prone to negative emotions, and even help you sleep better and avoid the type of exhaustion that leads to burnout,” says Mindful.

A gratitude culture creates a positive and enthusiastic environment where employees want to come to work. Further, studies suggest that grateful employees are more likely to go “above and beyond” their job description. For instance, they’re more likely to help a co-worker or provide great customer service.

Valued workplace behaviors like sportsmanship, conscientiousness and courtesy are all fostered by gratitude.

Getting Started

If the concept of promoting gratitude is new to your organization, start small.

“For a culture of gratitude to spread, everyone needs a chance to participate. This could be as simple as starting your weekly or monthly meetings with a round of recognition/gratitude where everyone takes a turn,” says Great Place to Work.

Other ways to begin expressing appreciation include keeping an office journal or creating an inter-office channel for employees to recognize peer achievements.

Continuous Cultivation

As time goes on, you can introduce additional practices. Several online staff recognition platforms exist that enable employees to acknowledge the achievements and milestones of their co-workers. Staff can share messages of support, acknowledge a peer’s extra efforts and award points that can be redeemed for rewards.

Creating a strong corporate culture is one of the best ways to attract and keep talent. Integrating gratitude into your company’s culture lays the groundwork for a workplace environment that is supportive and team-driven, with an invested workforce motivated to provide its best.


If you need help hiring, get in touch with the recruitment professionals at TPD.

Filed under Creating Your Dream Team 101, Management, Employee Retention, Employer, Workforce Solutions

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