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Expressing Gratitude in the Workplace

Gratitude in the Workplace

Expressing Gratitude with Words

Use these reflections to generate authentic, personal appreciation for someone on your team.

Consider specific things this person did recently that aren’t necessarily job accomplishments

  1. What actions or interactions are you thankful for from this person?
  2. How does this person positively impact the team? The organization? You?
  3. How does this person embrace the organizational mission and inspire others?
  4. What has this person done above and beyond assigned duties?
  5. What unique attributes does this person bring to the team?
  6. What doesn’t happen when this person is away?

Consider how this person makes you feel and how you connect with them

  1. What feelings or emotions do you have toward this person?
  2. What meaningful impact does this person have on you and your life?
  3. How does this person contribute to your work’s meaningfulness?

Consider the impact this person has had in your work and life

  1. How has this person helped you grow?
  2. How does this person improve your day and your work?
  3. Why are you glad you have a chance to work with and know this person?

Consider how you might show your genuine appreciation for this person

  1. What are this person’s interests related to work? Outside of work?
  2. In what ways might you show this person that they have brought impact to your life?
  3. How might you express your admiration and gratitude for this person? ​ From these reflections, you’re ready to share your gratitude personally in your next conversation, compose a short note of gratitude, or take action to express your appreciation. ​

Sample Gratitude Letters

“Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.” – Amy Collette

Sample #1 - Gratitude Letter

​ Dear Kate, ​ I appreciate all of the hard work you do for the team and for me. I know you’ve had your own struggles with a very busy schedule in addition to the pandemic, so it really means a lot to me when you make time to support my work along with others on the team. ​ I especially want to let you know that I appreciate the way you give constructive criticism and feedback, you regularly keep positive in meetings and in our collaborations, and how you make time to go the extra mile for others—like with the encouraging note you left me the other day. You really make this team so much better with your presence. ​ You make my work so much more meaningful—I can’t imagine this team without you! With my own workload and all of the other stresses that have compounded on top of it from the pandemic and my personal commitments, my collaborations with you makes everything feel more bearable. You encourage me to grow in my role and as a person, and I can’t say enough how grateful I am that you are a part of the team. ​ I look forward to our conversations and future projects! ​ Sincerely, ​ Steve ​

Sample #2 – Gratitude Letter

​ Dear Justin, ​ I want you to know how grateful I am to have you as a co-worker. You make me feel welcome and that my ideas matter. ​ I still think about the meeting last week when multiple times I tried to share an idea. I kept getting overrun by others. You noticed that I was starting to get frustrated. You made it a point to create a pause and allow me to speak. I really appreciated that you noticed and helped – and I was so proud when my idea became part of our team’s bigger solution. ​ I also want you to know that the way you notice team members makes an impact even when it’s not me. Countless times I have seen you check on people throughout the office. If someone seems off, you pull them aside and ask how they’re doing. Taking time for others is something I truly admire about you. ​ Your presence at work has had a meaningful impact on me. You light up the work environment and bring a positive energy wherever you go. I truly enjoy working with you. I look forward to continuing our collaboration on various projects. ​ Thanks for being you! ​ Robert ​

Sample #3 – Short Gratitude Message

​ Dear Stephanie, ​ I’m so appreciative to be able to work alongside you. You inspire and motivate me through your positive attitude and creativity. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with you. ​ Best Regards, ​ Janet ​

More ideas for expressing gratitude with words

Gratitude Sticky Notes

​ Leaving small handwritten messages of gratitude at someone’s desk or computer is a meaningful way to express your gratitude. Sticky notes are an easy and fun way to begin a conversation and connect on a more personal level with those around you. ​ Also consider a shared bulletin board (physical or virtual) just to showcase and highlight appreciation and gratitude on the team. ​

  • Great job in your first week, Mary, we’re happy you’re here!
  • Thanks to Mark, Erin & Melissa for always smiling at our clients!
  • Nicole did an amazing job on the Q3 reports!
  • Congratulations to Adam on his very first sale, nice work! ​ “Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.” – Margaret Cousins

Words of Praise

​ Weaving thank-you phrases into your workplace repertoire cultivates a happier team. We’re wired to appreciate appreciation – whether we are giving it, receiving it, or even hearing thanks offered to others. Gratitude boosts mood, increases productivity, and strengthens connections. ​ Sample thank-you phrases that you can modify with personal details:

  • “I appreciate the effort you’ve contributed to our project.”
  • “I really appreciate your flexibility and willingness to help.”
  • “Thank you for your confidence and support.”
  • “Thank you for your help. I’m delighted to have you on our team.”
  • “Thank you for always going above and beyond.”
  • “I loved hearing about your progress with your hobby, thanks for sharing!”
  • “Thank you so much for meeting and sharing your ideas with me about the project I’m working on.”
  • “I really enjoy your sense of humor. Thank you for being a bright spot in my day.” ​ “It’s not happiness that brings us gratitude. It’s gratitude that brings us happiness.” -Anonymous

Setting Aside Time for Gratitude

​ Adding appreciation to team meeting agendas provides the opportunity for team members to share genuine appreciation for one another. ​ Try opening your next meeting with: “We often move from one accomplishment to the next without pausing to acknowledge one another. Who would like to voice an appreciation for something or someone on our team?”“You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life.” – Zig Ziglar

References

  1. Di Fabio, A., Palazzeschi, L., & Bucci, O. (2017). Gratitude in Organizations: A Contribution for Healthy Organizational Contexts. Frontiers in Psychology, 8. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02025
  2. Fehr, R., Fulmer, A., Awtrey, E., & Miller, J. (2016). The Grateful Workplace: A Multilevel Model of Gratitude in Organizations. The Academy of Management Review, 42. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.2014.0374
  3. Newman, K. M. (2017). How Gratitude Can Transform Your Workplace. Greater Good. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_gratitude_can_transform_your_workplace

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