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Gratitude in the workplace is crucial to our growth and success as leaders. When practiced effectively, it has the power to transform your organization's culture into one based on empowerment, trust, and teamwork.

By contrast, the absence of gratitude can breed frustration and disconnection. Employees can feel like their contributions are never fully valued and seen. To quote Harvard Health Publishing, “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” It can increase the quality of life in the office and beyond.

As leaders, we flourish when our teams are successful, so consider consciously and sincerely showing appreciation for them in various ways. Continue reading to find out how to promote gratitude in the workplace for the sake of your career.

3 Ways To Promote Gratitude in the Workplace

1. Institutionalize Gratitude

I’d like to suggest that a major responsibility of ours as organizational leaders is to institutionalize the use of gratitude in our workplace. We can integrate the practice of thankfulness by:

  • Asking team members what would be most meaningful for them to receive gratitude from others. Ensure that gratitude is delivered in those ways and watch the sparks of joy.

  • Encouraging staff members to verbalize a word or sentence of gratitude in closing habitual meetings. End on a high note.

  • Empowering all staff, including managers and supervisors, to recognize each other’s contributions publicly, whenever their efforts are exemplary and not only when milestones are reached.

2. Walk the Walk

Cultivate a “gratitude attitude” among the team by regularly showing appreciation for each member in tangible ways:

  • Email or text your thanks immediately and incorporate GIFs or emojis to elicit a lighthearted response. For bonus points, send a handwritten note!

  • Host meals to celebrate the small and big wins. If you cannot gather, send a meal through Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub, or directly from a restaurant.

  • Offer positive feedback often as employees are performing their expected responsibilities. It’s a great motivational tool for everyone.

  • Keep an open-door policy to show you’re available to help, and be clear about how it works to prevent frustration.

  • Roll up our sleeves and jump in on projects when team members are in need of help. Model a positive attitude and watch your morale soar.

  • Recognize efforts publicly on social media (e.g., LinkedIn, Facebook groups) but also be careful and inclusive to all team members.

3. “Lift Up” Our Team

Make it a habit to practice “lift-ups” in the office. For example, the mission of our client, At The Well, is to enhance women’s well-being through ancient Jewish practices. Each week, all staff members “lift up” one another by expressing heart-felt gratitude for a specific action or reflection that improved the work of the organization. Lift-ups help create a culture of trust, motivation, and appreciation. You can do something similar in your own organization.

Next Steps

Cultivating a culture of gratitude in the workplace has the ability to boost your organization's success. What are some ways you could incorporate gratitude into your everyday life?

Contact me to learn how to institutionally and effectively engrain gratitude in the workplace. I can help you show appreciation to your team members in practical ways to foster powerful results.


"Thank you for helping me finally live up to my potential, get out of my own way and succeed! "

-Single parent executive on a large, new promotion

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