A job is a job. The worker punches in, gives up some time and limited personal freedom, does the work and in trade gets a wage in return. It is a classic transaction. An hour of work for an hour of pay.
It is hectic right now, all sorts of companies have been ramping up for the burst of easy holiday related sales. The focus is on doing it now. But what about January when it is time to trim staffing levels and start a new business cycle all over again. Where does Thanksgiving fit into all of this?
Most people who think of Thanksgiving think of Turkey dinner. Just go to the supermarket a few days before and watch the scramble for all the fixin’s.
The word gratitude comes to mind. Now here is a word that has some depth. It means different things depending on the situation. It is a powerful and transforming force.
Gratitude at work is sometimes out of place. Never more true than at your workplace. Remember the transaction, an hour of work for an hour of pay? Gratitude. It fits, it’s nice, but depending on the company and its culture, gratitude may not be on the top of mind.
So what can you expect if you bring a little gratitude to the workplace?
It can be an almost magical way to transform a negative environment into a positive one. In the workplace, gratitude creates an atmosphere of civility, which reduces stress, and that, in turn, cranks up your immune system and increases your job satisfaction. Focusing on gratitude can improve your overall feeling of well-being, even in the face of daily negativity. Gratitude can be practiced by everyone, no matter his or her level in the organization.
Now that we know gratitude can be a powerful tool to transform a negative workplace to a positive one, there is a an added benefit. There was a recent study that says grateful people actually live longer?
Here are three ways to bring gratitude to the workplace.
- Set up a timetable for paying sincere compliments to your coworkers and subordinates. Build a reminder into your to do lists for inspiration. The effects of gratitude will build relationships and benefit everyone involved.
- Depending on your management style and reputation around the office, dishing out a compliment may take a bit of work. Saying “thank you” is practically effortless all by itself but could throw co workers off their guard. Don’t worry though, it is still worthwhile. It is a matter of regularly thanking your coworkers, your subordinates, your boss, and those you interact with every day. You would think you wouldn’t have to thank people for doing their jobs, but it makes that person feel good, it makes you feel good, and it doesn’t cost a cent. And here’s the key: Say it like you mean it.
- Put effort into noticing the good things around you. Try not to focus on the negatives. Try to find a positive take. Once you get used to looking for the positive side, it will influence other thoughts. Yes, there is a positive aspect of sitting in freeway traffic, riding the bus or performing the more mundane tasks. Being positive is choice.
Which brings us the key thought…“It could be worse!” Remind yourself to find the positive. Your relationships will improve, you will discover new ways to approach routine matters and achieve positive outcomes where you least expected them. Bring gratitude to the office isn’t just a Thanksgiving thing. It is an approach to living. Be more positive! You may even live longer!
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