Culture Scout: A podcast and 2 articles make the business case for gratitude

culture scout

Are you a leader who thinks showing thankfulness is a sign of weakness? And that, actually, your employees should be grateful to you just for having a job?

Culture Scout would like a word, then. The data on our radar shows you’re definitely not doing yourself, your team or your organization any favors. Our intel shows it’s time to stop being stingy, open that gratitude spigot, and keep it open, during Thanksgiving season and ever after.

1. Want a great culture? Lead with gratitude

Author, researcher and executive coach Chester Elton has studied organizational culture for 20 years, and found that in every great company culture he ever studied “there was always this thread of appreciation and gratitude running through it.” In this podcast interview with RealLeaders, Elton, dubbed the “apostle of appreciation,” tells leaders that practicing gratitude and “assuming positive intent” is an absolute must, every single day. 

Excerpt from the RealLeaders podcast:

“Often as leaders, we think if we lead by fear, we’re gonna get those quick hits, and you can get short term results leading with fear. You really want long term results. You need to believe that people come to work every day to do a good job. And in trying to do that good job, they’re gonna make mistakes. And you know what, that’s okay, we can fix the mistake, we can move on. Assuming that positive intent goes a long way to creating a culture of gratitude.”

2. Give me remote thanks, or else

A new survey from SWNS research shows that companies really need to ramp up the gratitude toward remote workers, or suffer the consequences. Over half of those employees in America are not feeling much gratitude from their employers since they started working from home, according to a Forbes article. And about a quarter of those gratitude-starved workers are planning to take their foot off the gas when completing assignments. About two-thirds say they feel unmotivated because their efforts are not being recognized.

The survey of 2,000 workers is a wake-up call for companies to start spreading the love – particularly company leaders, as 7 in 10 respondents said executive/manager recognition is what they’d value most.

Excerpt from the Forbes article:

“When respondents working from home were asked what they would love to hear more at work, a simple “thank you” topped the list. “I appreciate you doing that” and “that was helpful” came in second and third place. “Your time is valuable” and “you went above expectations on this” rounded out the top five. Four in five (79%) said knowing they were appreciated would be a big boost for their mental health on a daily basis.”

3. Science Says: Gratitude unlocks happiness

Being thankful isn’t just a nice thing to do for others, it’s an essential key to your own happiness, according to a new CNET guide. In tough times like this, orienting your mind to the positive can be “a powerful way to improve wellbeing.” Another gratitude-related key to happiness? Performing random acts of kindness. And it’s easy to see that as a leader, if you radiate happiness, you’ll help your team feel happier, too.

Excerpt from the CNET guide:

“Writing down three things you’re grateful for at the end of each day, and why they happened, leads to long-term increases in happiness and decreases in depressive symptoms, according to a 2005 study from Martin Seligman, director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania. It doesn’t matter how large or small each thing is – just write them down, in a notebook or your Notes app or wherever.”

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