Are Employee Engagement and Gratitude Correlated?
The subject of gratitude seems to growing in popularity. Writers in The New York Times, Scientific American, and Time magazine describe how gratitude positively affects our happiness and health. Even Oprah Winfrey, talks about how we should all promote an “attitude of gratitude.”
What is New About Employee Engagement and Gratitude
What’s new about gratitude is that we are now learning how gratitude can affect employee engagement and performance at work. Recent studies link gratitude and related traits like engagement to overall performance improvements in organizations where gratitude is regularly practiced.
Three Ways Employee Engagement and Gratitude Overlap
Here are the three major ways the practice of thankfulness and appreciation improves the work environment and increases employee engagement:
1. Employee Gratitude Inspires Greater Contribution
Grateful employees are more apt to be helpful to their colleagues. They act like good citizens who are cooperative, empathetic, ready to volunteer, and supportive. They are the quintessential team players who encourage their team mates and praise their accomplishments.
Grateful employees are also more likely to be creative. People with gratitude are flexible, curious, and love to learn and test new ideas. These traits are just what organizations want in innovative thinkers.
2. Employee Gratitude Promotes Better Sleep
Thanks to studies by the Rand Corporation, we know that sleep deprivation costs American companies more than $400 billion a year in lost productivity. Poor sleep patterns in U.S. workers also diminish product quality, job satisfaction, professional relationships, and worker safety.
What do these statistics have to do with gratitude? Grateful people sleep longer and better because they have more positive thoughts as they think about what happened during the day. Better and longer sleep patterns affect employee relationships and performance.
3. Employee Gratitude Reduces Job Dissatisfaction
Some people are just never satisfied. They think they deserve more than others. They feel unreasonably entitled and they take their frustration out on others.
In the workplace, dissatisfied employees more frequently engage in negative behaviors such as gossiping, complaining and blaming.
Grateful workers are just the opposite. They exude optimism. They are friendly and far less likely to be annoyed or irritated by others. Instead of feeling entitled and dissatisfied, they look on the bright side and appreciate the work they have and do.
The Bottom Line
We are starting to better understand the positive effects of gratitude…both in one’s personal and professional life. Is gratitude part of your employee engagement strategy?
To learn more about proven activities to improve employee engagement, download The Top 10 Most Powerful Ways to Boost Employee Engagement
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