Gratitude gets a lot attention this time of year. Experts suggest that being grateful for others has a positive effect on relationships, which is probably why you hear a lot of people saying they’re grateful for “friends and family” when it’s their turn at the Thanksgiving roundtable. But what about at work? Does gratitude affect your team in the same way? Of course it does.

How Gratitude Affects Your Team

Being a grateful leader is more than a few pats on the back and an “way to go team” at the end of a busy shift. It’s more than secret Santas and Christmas cookies in the breakroom. It’s more than employee of the month and top seller awards. All these gestures matter in the big picture, but it’s truly the accumulation of many smaller things that will truly show gratitude. Follow these tips:

  • Be genuine. When you thank an employee, you must mean what you say for it to matter.
  • Be simple. Giving thanks doesn’t have to be extravagant. Often, the simplest forms of appreciation have the most power.
  • Be specific. Recognize employees for their individual contributions, and do it in-person and one-on-one, if possible.
  • Be consistent. Employees may expect to be thanked at the end of a busy shift or during the holidays. Make giving thanks a year-round event.

Benefits of Being a Grateful Leader

When you show gratitude for your employees, it has a ripple effect. Employees who feel appreciated will appreciate each other and, just as important, your guests.