Gratitude in the Workplace

November 17, 2022 Ken Blanchard

I’ve often spoken about how we should try to always have an “attitude of gratitude” for the good things in our lives—remembering to be grateful for our health, family, friends, experiences, and such. But when was the last time you thought about what you are grateful for in relation to your workplace: your colleagues, your boss, your organization, or different elements of your job?

Expressing gratitude to people you work with can be done many different ways. One of my favorite ways is face to face—either in person or on a video call—saying something like “Martha, you are fabulous. I’m so glad to have you on my team. I love working with you.”

If my method doesn’t feel natural to you, no worries! The upcoming holiday season is a great time to jump in and show appreciation for colleagues with a handwritten card or note, a small gift, or other token of thanks. Surprise onsite coworkers with coffee, lunch, or an after-work get together to build camaraderie on and off the job.

No matter how you do it, letting a team member know you appreciate them as a person and a colleague strengthens the relationship, lowers stress levels on the job, and makes both of you feel good. Hard to argue with that!

Make a Workplace Gratitude List

I know a lot of folks write down things about their lives that they are grateful for. Some people even keep a gratitude journal. Next time you are feeling grateful, make a list of things you appreciate about your work life. I know, for many of us, work is much different than it was three years ago—but I also know there is plenty to be thankful for.

Here are a few thoughts that come to mind for me:

  • I’m grateful that I get to work with my family. Our family has run our business together for more than forty years. We have supported and loved each other through the hard times and the good times. And we still have fun—we even vacation together!
  • I’m grateful for our wonderful people. The people in our company are the best in the business. I learn something every day working alongside these brilliant, positive, hardworking folks. From our Founding Associates to our most recently hired people, each person is helping to make a difference in the world every day.
  • I’m grateful for my coauthors. Did you know I’ve written nearly 70 books, but only four by myself? I’ve had coauthors for all the rest. My mother once asked me, “Ken, why don’t you write your own books?” and I said, “Mom, I already know what I know.” I have learned so much from my coauthors and I’m so thankful they chose to collaborate with me.
  • I’m grateful for seeing the world through others’ eyes. My speaking and consulting work has carried me all over the world and I have never taken that for granted. Traveling has given me a chance to view life through perspectives I never would have experienced otherwise. I am so grateful for the amazing places I’ve been, things I’ve seen, and people I’ve met throughout my travels. It is an education I’ll never forget. Since the pandemic began, I’ve been Zooming around the world rather than traveling! At 83, I’m happy with that vehicle. A few days ago, Randy Conley and I Zoomed in Poland—imagine how long it would have taken to fly there and back! Instead, we did it together from our homes. Such is the new life. I need to add that today I’m also grateful for Zoom!
  • I’m grateful for being able to make a difference. My entire career has been about encouraging leaders to lead at a higher level. I love sharing the concept of leadership as a side-by-side process where leaders serve their people and help them achieve their goals. It’s still thrilling to see people light up when they learn how to apply the SLII® Model or the 3 Secrets of the One Minute Manager to their work. I’m grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives through the work our company does around the world.

How about You?

Now it’s your turn. This month, find a way that works for you to let your colleagues, direct reports, or boss know that you are grateful for them. And sit down and make a list of all the things you are grateful for that relate to your work. Your coworkers will feel appreciated, you’ll feel good, and you may even appreciate your work more!

About the Author

Ken Blanchard

Ken Blanchard is cofounder and Chief Spiritual Officer of The Ken Blanchard Companies®. Best known as the coauthor of The One Minute Manager, as well as 65 other books with combined sales totaling more than 21 million copies.

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