We are all working hard these days — some would say too hard. So where does gratitude factor in? What if gratitude could offset work-related stress and contribute to a healthier work life balance? Whether you work from home, or go into the office, take care of your kids or the whole neighborhood, you’ve surely experienced the gift of gratitude in your work, or the lack thereof. Turns out, either can have serious implications.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number one reason people leave their job is that they do not feel appreciated. Assuming the number one reason most of us get a job in the first place is to make money, the fact that we would quit because we don’t feel appreciated is saying something.
We are built for connection. Even if we own our own business, we aren’t working solely for ourselves. We want the work we do to matter. Ultimately, the measure of our success doesn’t fit on a spreadsheet of profit and loss, but rather comes from the appreciation or recognition we give and receive, often in the form of gratitude.
Eric Mosley, CEO of Workhuman, has over 50 million data points (what Brene Brown calls “data with a heart”), in his new book Making Work Human: How Human-Centered Companies are Changing the Future of Work and the World. He shared some significant findings with Brown on her Dare to Lead podcast about gratitude’s relationship to workplace satisfaction. “Even in high-tech Silicon Valley technology companies, all the way to oil and gas services industrial companies, once you get over five thank-you moments in a year, your propensity to leave halves basically. It goes from 15% all the way down to 7%. And if you can get them up to 12 moments of thank you […] it goes all the way down to 2%. […] And the ones that receive no thank-yous, which might not be anything to do with their work, it could be to do with the culture in that office, or the manager in that office, their propensity to leave is over 15%.”
This is incredible. Something as simple as a moment of thanks can make a world of difference.
As Karl Sun writes in a recent Forbes article, “Gratitude is a basic human requirement — and since we spend most of our waking hours at the office, giving and receiving thanks at work becomes pretty important.”
All that “data with a heart” adds up. When the American Psychological Association studied 1,714 employed adults, they found that “employees who feel valued are more likely to report better physical and mental health, as well as higher levels of engagement, satisfaction and motivation.” In fact, 93% of employees “who reported feeling valued said that they are motivated to do their best at work and 88 percent reported feeling engaged.”
There’s more good news — researchers have observed a spillover effect. When we create a culture of gratitude in the workplace, we see “significantly increased happiness, greater satisfaction with life, and higher resilience to stress [… and even] fewer headaches and illnesses, Sun says. “Individuals become more trusting with each other, and more likely to help each other out.”
As a community of faith, we have the opportunity to show God’s love in the workplace one simple “thank you” at a time. Just the very fact that we’re attempting to practice gratitude in our daily lives helps us manifest more gratitude and appreciation. And we really need it.
36 Weeks of Hard Work and Gratitude – How’s It Going for You?
On Labor Day, we want to pause and acknowledge the work we’ve been doing together in writing the Book of Hope. It is no small feat to practice gratitude daily, to find reasons to hope in difficult times. And each of you being part of this, makes it all the more powerful. So thank you.
We’d love to know how it’s going for you. In what ways are you finding reasons to hope? Is it true what gratitude researchers say? How have you seen gratitude play out in the workplace or at home? Share your thoughts with us on social media and tag @rootandvinenews #reasonstohope
Writing the Book of Hope
We’ve been writing the Book of Hope together for 36 weeks now, but it’s never too late to join us. Here’s all you need to get started.