LEADING WITH GRATITUDE

LEADING WITH GRATITUDE

Every employee who works hard expects appreciation and recognition at the workplace. You must have also come across instances, where you worked really hard on a project to make it a success. In return, you must have expected a pat on the back or applause from your manager. And when you receive acknowledgement and recognition for your hard work it gives rise to a feeling of satisfaction in you. However, appreciation and recognition efforts should remain consistent throughout the organization.

Why is Gratitude Necessary?

Leading with gratitude is an essential leadership skill and it has acquired all the more importance in this period of pandemic.  This unprecedented outbreak of Covid-19 has brought with it unnecessary work stress; the need to maintain work-life balance, job insecurity accompanied with fear and chaos. The adverse impact of this pandemic is highly evident and the employer should resort to acknowledgement and appreciation to ensure the well-being of his employees.

What are the benefits of Gratitude?

In simple words, gratitude implies saying ‘thank you’ or acknowledging a deed done. So, when you as a manager acknowledge the hard work of your team member, you show gratitude to him. This act of gratitude has far-reaching effects. A crisp list of the benefits of gratitude has been prepared below:

Benefits of Gratitude at the Workplace

  • It helps to enhance the morale and motivates the employee to work better.
  • It helps to improve the quality of empathy and reduces negativity.
  • It aids in employee performance thereby improving productivity.
  • It leads to improved relationships among the internal and external stakeholders of the company.
  • It leads to employee retention.

Benefits of Gratitude at an Individual Level

  • It helps to improve relationships.
  • It improves the mental well-being.
  • It leads to feeling of joy and satisfaction.
  • It helps to develop the feeling of compassion and empathy.

Let us go through some of the simple steps which will help you to embrace gratitude at the workplace especially, during this period of pandemic.

1. Shower praise on your team through personal engagement: During the outbreak of Covid-19, most of the employees have been working remotely from home. As a result, they feel isolated, low on morale and less dedicated to work. All this can be handled well by you, when you as the manager, keep in touch with every member of your team. You can do this via Microsoft Teams or videoconferencing and let them know that the company values them and recognises their work, especially during this period of the pandemic.  You can even send an email to your team member and pick up the phone and compliment him when you get to hear about his good work. This will make your team members feel elated and will further enhance their productivity even when working from home.

2. Encourage your team members to say ‘Thank You’: As a manager, leading with gratitude is a vital leadership skill and it can certainly be inculcated in your team members as well. A manager, who credits his team for the success of the targets achieved, is a true leader with gratitude. You need to encourage your team members to thank those around them (either physically at office or remotely in contact through online technology) such as their seniors, colleagues, peers even for small tasks or endeavours.

3. Recognise those you exhibit gratitude in their daily practice: You must have come across employees at your workplace who generally appreciate or say thank you to others in their daily routine at work. This indeed is a good practice and you can contribute to it further by appreciating those colleagues or seniors.

4. Try and provide practical gifts as tokens of gratitude: In 2020, the unprecedented outbreak of Covid-19 forced most of us to work from home. As a result, you must have been juggling hard between office and home commitments. Your employer also recognises this significant change that has taken place this year. Henceforth, it becomes all the more necessary, to recognise and appreciate your work in these hard times. As a token of thanks giving, your company should try and provide gifts which can be utilised by the employees. For instance, giving coupons or games (which can be enjoyed indoors with the family) as a gesture of recognition and appreciation will go a long way in keeping you happy, especially in this fearful scenario. Remember, it is not the gift (whether big or small) but the gesture which gets appreciated after all!

Significance of Gratitude in the Years to Come

According to Professor Robert A. Emmons, gratitude is defined as the “ultimate performance-enhancing substance.” You must have by now recognised the importance of inculcating the culture of gratitude at your workplace. The vital aspect to be noted is that gratitude needs to be authentic and should be consistent throughout your organization. However, the leaders need to build this culture by setting their own example. This quality of showing gratitude will acquire all the more prominence in the present uncertain scenario where employees are working from home and experiencing negative feelings and chaos.

Conclusion

Therefore, to conclude, it is certainly essential to develop a culture of gratitude among the employees of your company. However, you might argue that developing the feeling of gratitude might be difficult at present due to the presence of negativity around us. But, gradually, over time, with sincerity, you can develop this feeling of gratitude and spread joy and happiness at your workplace.


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