The Importance of Gratitude
Here we are, beginning to wrap up the end of 2022. With Thanksgiving ahead, it is never too early to take stock of all we are grateful for and fortify a practice of gratitude.
Can gratitude in the workplace help in job/career satisfaction and employee engagement?
According to the American Psychological Association, researchers found that 93% of employees who reported feeling valued felt motivated to do their best work, and 88% felt engaged.
Waldron CPI is continually focused on the value of effective and productive employee engagement and the quality of the employee experience to an organization’s people objectives. One of the easiest and most impactful ways to show the people in your organization their value is by expressing sincere gratitude for their hard work. Recognizing employees for their contributions is a great way to boost their motivation and productivity.
Welcome to Waldron CPI’s 3rd annual gratitude challenge.
Throughout the next six weeks, we will share different ways to practice gratitude in the workplace. This week we are sharing the value of keeping a gratitude journal.
- Week 1: Gratitude Journal
- Week 2: Random Acts of Kindness
- Week 3: Reflect on Lessons Learned
- Week 4: National Day of Giving
- Week 5: Say Thank You
- Week 6: Reflection and Goals
Week 1 - Keep a Gratitude Journal
The Gratitude Journal Page
According to HuffPost’s article, “The Benefits of a Gratitude Journal and How to Maintain one,” by Lauren Jessen, “gratitude has proven ‘tangible benefits’ by writing a list of positive things down at the end of the day, lowered people’s stress-level and helped them relax at night.”
Below are a few journal prompts to help you identify the positive aspects of your work life, raise awareness for yourself and others, and lower the potential stress you may be experiencing. Below are a few to start you off.
Gratitude prompt 1: Write down three positive things that happened to you at work today and be detailed as possible. Remembering positive things that happened in the day, improves mood and increases motivation.
Gratitude Prompt 2: Describe the thing or situation you look forward to daily. Sharing what gives you joy - such as coffee with a co-worker or a collaboration meeting you enjoy participating in – anything that gives us joy and strength to move forward.
Gratitude Prompt 3: What is something you learned this week that you are thankful for? Seize the moment and learn something new.
Week 2 - Random Acts of Kindness
One rainy day – (could be any day in Washington state) I was waiting in the Starbucks drive-through line in deep thought about how many remaining coffees remained on my gift card. As I pull up to the window, a smiling barista handing over my coffee says, “the car in front of you just paid for your coffee. Would you like to pay it forward?” I said, “of course!”
World Random Acts of Kindness Day
Did you know that Sunday, November 13th marks World Random Acts of Kindness Day? Performing such acts of kindness and helping others benefits more than just the recipient. “Altruism, cooperation, trust, and compassion—are all necessary ingredients of a harmonious and well-functioning society,” says lead author Bryant P.H. Hui, Ph.D. of research published by the American Psychological Association. “It is part of the shared culture of humankind, and our analysis shows that it also contributes to mental and physical health.”
Random Acts of Kindness in the Workplace
Random acts of kindness at work are infectious! According to University of Wisconsin professor Richard Davidson’s research, both givers and receivers feel happier and more satisfied with their jobs. It clearly shows a ripple effect as people who received random acts of kindness paid it forward by giving 278% more acts of kindness themselves.
According to Fast Company’s blog, happy employees are 12% more productive. A wonderful way to boost morale is by implementing a random act of kindness (RAK) in the office. The website Random Acts of Kindness (yes, a dedicated website for RAKs) offers a variety of activities specifically in the workplace, such as the downloadable Tag! You’re It! cards have seen below.
Not sure what to do in the workplace? Try one of these and jot them down in your Gratitude Journal or share your ideas on our social media in the comments section.
- Leave a coffee or a soda on a co-worker’s desk
- Send a coffee via email to a co-worker
- Give a LinkedIn recommendation
- Tell your boss what you appreciate about them
- Kindness Award: Recognize a teammate for their kindness
Download the Random Act of Kindness Journal page.
Week 3 - Reflect on Lessons Learned
The best way to move forward is by looking back at what has already been accomplished and overcome. Taking time out of your busy schedule for self-reflection can help remind us that no matter how difficult some experiences may have been in the past, they are still an opportunity waiting with open arms - one we must seize!
If you want to go a little deeper in learning from mistakes and mishaps, try one of these resources:
- Lifehack: 40 Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes
- Psychology Today: How Do We Learn From Our Mistakes?
Thanksgiving is a time of reflection on all our blessings. We hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend.
Download: Reflection on Lessons Learned journal page.
National Day of Giving (aka Giving Tuesday) is November 29th! On this day, Waldron CPI joins a global network of organizations reimagining a world built upon shared humanity and generosity. Every day, every act of generosity counts, and everyone has something to give. No matter how big or small—from making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger, showing up for an issue or someone, or giving something, we have to those who need our help. Today shines a light on making this an everyday occurrence.
The Waldron CPI team put our passion into action by giving time, money, and skills to issues facing our communities and the world. To support our employees’ passion for giving, Waldron CPI matches employee charitable giving to nonprofit organizations. Organizations contributed to this year by our team include:
- Barbara McDowell and Gerald Hartman Foundation: https://www.mcdowellfoundation.org/
- Food Lifeline: https://foodlifeline.org/
- FareStart: https://www.farestart.org/
- Planned Parenthood: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/
- Wa Na Wari: https://www.wanawari.org
- Brennen Center for Justice: https://www.brennancenter.org/
- Center for Whale Research: https://www.whaleresearch.com/research
- Business Ending Slavery & Trafficking (BEST): https://www.bestalliance.org/
- Cascade Public Media: https://www.cascadepublicmedia.org/
- National MS Society: https://www.nationalmssociety.org/
- West Seattle Food Bank - https://westseattlefoodbank.org/donate-food/
- Humane Borders: https://humaneborders.org/our-mission/
- Divinely Orchestrated: https://www.divinelyorchestratedusa.org/projects
- St Jude Hospital: https://www.stjude.org/
- Save the Children: https://www.savethechildren.org/
- Hearts Alive Village:
- Resilient Hearts Animal Sanctuary:
Additionally, Waldron CPI ownership provides an additional contribution to impact our community on behalf of the organization. This year our contribution went to B.E.S.T. (Business Ending Slavery & Trafficking) and Food Lifeline.
Remembering that giving is far more than just financial contribution, donating is another form of giving in which many people can take meaningful action. Consider how lucky you are for everything you have. Then go around your home, find the things that no longer suit you, and donate them to someone who can use them. Your gratefulness is expressed in kindness—which everyone needs.
Don't forget to share what you're doing out there with everyone else! Sharing makes a difference and can change someone's life for the better.
If you would like to learn more about the GivingTuesday movement to unleash the power of radical generosity around the world in everyday life, connect with them here: www.givingtuesday.org.
Week 5 - Say Thank You
“The smallest thanks is always worth more than the effort it takes to give it” — Unknown
When we take the time to thank someone, it can have a powerful and meaningful impact. In addition to making the recipient of our gratitude feel appreciated, it also helps build strong relationships and strengthen bonds. Expressing gratitude can make us feel more connected with those around us and even help create feelings of happiness and contentment in ourselves.
Recent research from Deloitte found that a simple "thank you" has a significant impact on employees/coworkers. It makes them feel appreciated and valued, which in turn motivates them to do their best work. In addition, thanking employees for their work encourages them to continue to contribute positively to the company. So, if you want your employees to be productive and happy, be sure to say thank you regularly!
In fact, a Gallup poll recently revealed that employees feel appreciated when they are recognized at least once a week. Unfortunately, 65% of employees reported receiving absolutely no recognition in the past year. When employees feel under-appreciated, they're more likely to want to leave.
Acknowledging why you're grateful can be even more meaningful. Saying “thank you for your hard work” is recognizing the extra time they have put into the project, but adding something more such as, “You have a unique perspective that always brings fresh ideas to the table,” will have more impact on the employee.
Saying “thank you” will improve relationships throughout the organization, as peer recognition fosters feelings of mutual appreciation and creates a positive work culture. Collegiality and positive peers have a greater impact on employee retention than even a pay raise, according to TINYpulse.
This season, take the time to show some gratitude to someone or a team within your organization. Here are examples from Terryberry.com:
- I want you to know that I notice how you go above and beyond in all that you do. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.
- I want you to know that I notice how you go above and beyond in all that you do. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.
- Congratulations on this latest achievement. I know it’s just one of many.
Download Week 5. Thank you, Journal Page
Week 6: Reflection & Goals
A Career Year in Review
Many publications list the most significant moments of the year as it comes to a close. For example, in music, Spotify features their "2022 Wrapped" personalized to each listener that summarizes their most enjoyed music and podcasts throughout the year. Such highlights give us pause to reflect while we consider the year ahead.
According to Forbes.com, creating a career year-in-review is an activity you must also do. We certainly agree. Here are a few reasons why:
- Recognize accomplishments achieved. Whether big or small, list them. Considering your year-end review can provide the comfort of knowing that what you've accomplished is worth celebrating.
- Motivation for goal setting. We all get caught up in our work schedules, and sometimes the days blend in, and suddenly we are in December! Doing a review gives you a fresh new year with new goals.
- Identifies what matters to you. By listing the year's pros and cons, you can quickly identify what you need to focus on the following year.
Chris Guillebeau, a best-selling author, and podcaster, has been doing a "year-in-review" exercise since 2006. His typical review format is asking himself two key questions:
- First, what went well this year?
- What didn't go well this year?
Guillebeau recommends looking at the things you have control over. If something didn't go as planned or you couldn't prevent or control it, it doesn't go on the list. He believes "reflecting on the past year" helps create a "roadmap" for the upcoming year.
If you are having trouble coming up with a list, below are a few ideas:
- My most impactful career accomplishments
- The biggest lessons I learned
- Completed projects
When you decide which list is best for you, take time to make it, collect it, and review it. Then, download the Week 6 Career Year in Review Journal page to help write your review.