In a famous experiment
conducted in 1993, researchers asked participants to smile for 20 seconds.
They discovered something interesting: acting happy stimulated brain activity commonly associated with positive feelings.
In other words, something as simple as smiling can improve your attitude. Worried you’ll feel slightly insane walking around smiling at everyone to improve the culture in your office?
Well, there’s another, just as effective way to create a positive environment: show gratitude.
Many employers think that simply providing their employees with a paycheck should be thanks enough. Research, however, indicates that there is a direct link between employee productivity and employee happiness.
Unhappiness reduced productivity by 10%, while happiness can boost productivity by 12%, according to an article by Fast Company
. One of the best ways to improve employee happiness? Say thank you.
Saying thank you has multiple benefits with very little cost. It can be verbal or written, be done publicly or in private, and be as elaborate as giving a token of thanks or as simple as saying “Thanks”. How does showing gratitude help people?
The University of Pennsylvania realized that saying thank you paid off in a big way
. Employees who were conducting fundraising calls made 50% more calls if they were thanked by their manager.
Genuine gratitude for your employees’ work can have lasting positive effects on their productivity. While you should say thank you because you’re grateful for their efforts, it’s nice to know that there is a benefit.
Increased Job Satisfaction
Study after study has shown that job satisfaction is based on more than just a paycheck. One of the most important indicators of job satisfaction is engagement. A recent poll
showed that less than 15% of people are engaged in work.
This means that an overwhelming percentage of adults are unhappy in their jobs. For employers, it can cost nearly $500 billion
annually in lost revenue. If you are interested in increasing the level of engagement by your employees, find ways to improve their happiness through gratitude.
People who are appreciated have a more positive outlook. It can affect not only their job performance, but their personal well-being. Researchers at the University of Southern California demonstrated this with a study of gratitude
. In their study, they found people who would typically respond with frustration were less inclined to lash out when they were shown gratitude.
Gratitude can help people
have healthier hearts, lower blood pressure and improved immunity.
Happiness as a result of being shown gratitude can help your brain function better
. In addition, it is contagious and can help to improve the overall culture of your workplace.
There is a ripple effect as a result of gratitude. The person you thanked is more likely to show gratitude towards others, and it can spread throughout your company.
Everyone likes to know that their efforts are noticed. Whether it is grandma sending over a plate of cookies or the co-worker who trades shifts with you, saying thank you is appreciated and powerful. Who can you thank today?
Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing Agency
and My Big Idea™
. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.