The Christmas holiday season is on and a spirit of love, sharing, forgiveness and gratitude infiltrates the hearts of even the busiest and most cynical of Americans.
Somehow the feelings of gratitude that remain dormant for most of the year, suddenly come to life during this period, but unfortunately we normally limit them to just friends and family – it is not a sentiment one would associate with your workplace. However this time around when you give thanks let your thoughts drift towards your work, your employer and your co-workers, believe you me, that you have a lot to be thankful for.
The first thing you should be thankful for is that you have a job. Remember that there are upwards of 12 million people in the country, desperate for a job, yet not having one – be grateful that you are not one of them.
Nobody equates jobs with fun or entertainment and most find them mundane and a necessary evil. Hence they don’t really think it’s important to be grateful for anything or to anyone at the workplace – they couldn’t be more wrong.
Remember that you have a job, which means a paycheck – use that as a viewpoint, think about those fellow Americans desperate for a job and you will understand what you have to be thankful for.
Apart from showing appreciation that you have a job, be thankful to all those colleagues and co-workers who have helped you at the workplace. Those who have willingly listened to you, advised you counseled you and assisted you in your work, those whose assistance encouraged and empowered you to be a better worker.
Whilst you are on the process of thanking, don’t forget to thank your employers. Say thanks to all those in the top-echelons who are not a pain, because the vast majority is. Even though they may be the bosses, it is proven that they all yearn for recognition and praise. Surveys reveal that while employers are liberal in their appreciation of their valuable employees, the feeling is not often reciprocated by the employees.
A workplace environment that is filled with gratitude and appreciation is a happy environment that is fruitful, dynamic and focused. Moreover, gratitude is contagious; it spreads like no other attitude – by making a concentrated and deliberate effort to convey gratitude at the workplace, you are heartening others to follow suit.
A recent study published in the Journal of Personal and Social Psychology has come out with some fascinating findings. A fictional student “Eric” emailed 69 people to help him with his application. Later he thanked only half of them for their help. Then he sent a second request for assistance, a mere 32 percent of the un-thanked responded whilst two thirds of those who were thanked were upbeat in their reaction.
Other studies have shown that customers, who are thanked for their patronage, return for future purchases and a waiter thanking the diner receives a bigger tip.
While gratitude may not be a panacea, a cure-all for all problems at the workplace, it will go a long way in binding colleagues in collegial feelings and even help in resolving strained relationships. A simple thing as leaving a candy bar on your colleagues desk can trigger of emotions one never knew existed and make the workplace that much more warmer, mutually respectful and fun to work in.
The power of gratitude and thankfulness is felt, more than ever, during the Christmas season, and by our small gestures of appreciation we can, not only, enrich our lives but also contribute to creating a friendlier and more rewarding workplace. So don’t put it off any longer. This is the time to write that long overdue thank-you note, help someone with his work, or treat a colleague to lunch or bring a cup of hot steaming coffee to their desks? Small gestures they may be, but they will go a long-long way.