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How to Cultivate Gratitude at Work


With Thanksgiving right around the corner, our minds are probably focused on turkey and all the fixings. However, it’s also a good time to reflect and give thanks, including in the workplace. Cultivating gratitude can help you feel happier and more productive and can help build a positive culture at work. Here are some tips for cultivating gratitude in the workplace.

Write Thank You Notes to Colleagues and Managers

The art of the thank you note is underrated. In fact, it’s one of the easiest ways to give back at work. Write an email to a colleague or leave a simple note on their desk thanking them for their help, generosity, or feedback. Even the smallest show of gratitude will go a long way in helping you build positive relationships in the workplace.

Share Positive Feedback With the Whole Team

Don’t keep positive reviews to yourself; if you get accolades or compliments from a client or partner, share them with the entire team to boost morale. This is an especially good thing to do with team members who don’t always interface directly with clients. It reminds them that their contributions are valuable.

Share Your Weekly “Peak and Valley”

Take time to reflect on high points of your week at meetings or get-togethers. For example, at KM happy hours we like to share our “peak and valley” from the previous week. It’s a great way to celebrate our wins, big or small, and reflect on positive lessons that were gleaned from low points.

Make a Gratitude List

Every morning, challenge yourself to make a list of a few things you’re grateful for in your current position. Do this before you dive into the rest of your day. This is a great practice to help you get into a positive mindset at work. If you feel comfortable doing this, you can also write some of the things on your list on a post-it and display it on your monitor or desk to look at throughout the day.

Participate in Random Acts of Kindness

A little thoughtfulness goes a long way at work. If you like to bake, bring in cookies for someone’s birthday or work anniversary, or just because. If you’re a manager, get your team a little gift to show your appreciation for their hard work. Another great way to give thanks is to donate to a cause that your company cares about.

At KellyMitchell, for example, we donate our time and treasure every year to the United Way, a national organization dedicated to helping improve lives in local communities.

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