Elevating employee engagement with an attitude of gratitude
Do you remember the last time you received a thank you note? Can you recall how it made you feel? Probably pretty positive. Positive about the person who sent it to you, positive about the action you were being thanked for, and more likely that you’d do the same thing again if given the opportunity. All this positivity from a simple thank you note.
Mark Twain once said, "I can live for two months on a good compliment." What is even more interesting is what we are learning about the positive benefits that result from acts of gratefulness. Being grateful requires mindful practice. You don't thank someone accidentally. It requires us to take note of noteworthy acts. It benefits from empathy and thinking about the busy life of the person who took the action. It requires extra effort on our part.
Recently, scientists have researched this concept using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning technology and have found interesting connections with many aspects of well-being.
"The Brain and Creativity Institute at USC's Department of Psychology conducted an experiment exploring how gratitude affects the brain. As subjects experienced the feeling of gratitude, their brains were being monitored through MRI technology. A feeling of gratitude stimulated parts of the brain associated with positive emotion and moral thinking; gratitude stimulated patterns in the brain that reinforce positivity."
At the University of California, San Diego researchers found that feeling gratitude was associated with better sleep, decreased depression, decreased fatigue and a more positive outlook.
Further, a team of researchers from the Institute for Visual History and Education found through MRI technology that when the brain feels gratitude, it activates areas responsible for feelings of reward, moral cognition, subjective value judgments, fairness, economic decision-making and self-reference.
There are numerous studies confirming the benefits of gratitude not only to the recipient but to the person expressing the sentiment.
Research conducted on gratitude by Michael McCullough (University of Miami) and Robert Emmons (UC Davis) has shown that people who frequently experience gratitude are happier, less depressed or anxious, more emphatic, and more helpful than people who do not have a grateful disposition.
From gratitude to greatness.
As you plot your course to greatness for your company think about ways you might encourage your workforce to be more appreciative. Help them to understand the power of positive reinforcement. Provide suggestions about posting kudos about a colleague and encouraging leadership to take a minute and acknowledge special efforts or milestone achievements. Keep in mind that with each act of gratitude you are getting a two-fold return: the person being thanked, appreciated, or recognized feels great but the sender also experiences feelings of positivity, energy, and a greater sense of well-being.
A few considerations for building a culture of gratitude.
As the holiday season fast approaches, think about to ways elevate your "culture of gratitude." With a little more appreciation, you will likely see greater positivity, higher levels of job satisfaction, a boost in productivity and a generally positive shift in morale. Those focused on greatness for your company will be most appreciative.
If you are interested in learning more about how Augeo can help build a culture of gratitude and appreciation for your company click here.
How can organizations amplify their influence through authentic brand experiences at scale? The Augeo team was thrilled to bring this powerful topic to a global audience of HR leaders and dynamic change agents at CultureCon, where the future of workplace engagement is revolutionized.
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