Workforce Health | By | 04/03/18 | 3 Minute Read

The Importance Of Gratitude and Mindfulness In The Workplace

Feeling valued at work is crucial for employees. In fact, one survey reports 66% of employees would likely leave their job if they didn’t feel appreciated. That’s why creating a culture of mindfulness and gratitude, where employees are encouraged to speak up about who they are grateful for in the workplace, is key. But expressing gratitude is not just a task for people managers and HR. Here’s the case for why everyone should start practicing gratitude at work, and the role the mindfulness can play.

Gratitude Makes Employees More Productive

The more someone feels appreciated, the more motivated they will feel to work harder. In fact, a study found that university fundraisers who were thanked by their managers made 50% more fundraising calls than those who weren’t recognized. If a simple gesture, like saying “thank you,” can help employees feel valued and motivated, just imagine what going the extra mile—like sending a complimentary email to their boss—could do.

Gratitude Increases Job Satisfaction

It’s important for employees to feel satisfied with their job—after all, they spend an average of 90,000 hours of their life at work. Research has linked gratitude—specifically when an organization has gratitude built into its culture through methods like rewards policies—to increased job satisfaction.

Gratitude is Contagious

Paying it forward works. Research shows the more cooperative and gracious someone is to others, the more likely they are to mirror those positive behaviors. And it’s not just the person they directly compliment who benefits; the same study shows gracious behavior can spread up to three degrees (ie. from person to person to person). Help your company build a culture of gratitude by giving a shout out to a coworker in a meeting or offer kudos to someone on a group email. And if all goes to plan, other employees will follow.

Gratitude Benefits Employee Health

You read that right—gratitude can improve your health. Research shows daily gratitude practice can reduce the effects of heart disease, strengthen the immune system, improve sleep quality, and more. (And we know how crucial sleep is to productivity and your bottom line.) As a wellness leader, try to instill a culture of gratitude at the office by creating a gratitude bulletin board where employees can give each other shoutouts, launching a gratitude platform, or even just giving your employees high fives for a job well done.

How Mindfulness Can Help

Another way to ingrain gratitude into your culture is by educating employees on mindfulness. A growing number of companies are acknowledging the power of mindfulness and bringing the practice to the office with meditation sessions, mindful lunches, and more. In fact, a recent survey of over 100 companies found that 35% of employers currently have or will have a mindfulness program at their organization in 2017—up from 22% in 2016. And 26% of employers are thinking about introducing one in the future.

Mindfulness can act as a tool to help employees manage their stress, recognize the good throughout their day, and take on their day with ease and confidence. Several recent studies have even indicated potential health benefits related to mindfulness, including stress reduction (by decreasing levels of the stress hormone cortisol) and improved focus (by helping the brain have better control over processing emotions), which could help employees be more observant, calm, and grateful throughout the workday.

This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.

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