There are great benefits to living a life of gratitude. Our workplaces can be transformed as we incorporate this virtue in to the culture and atmosphere. Such an opportunity requires us to take action. James 1:22 is a warning that knowing something doesn’t necessarily change the situation, we must apply it to receive the benefits.
Putting Gratitude into Action
There are a number of ways that we can incorporate practical gratitude into our lives and businesses. These applications will help us individually, and release the greatness in our co-workers.
• Start an Employee Recognition Program
Build a system that enables you to recognize and give back to your employees. This can vary in scope and doesn’t need to be a costly endeavor. Start by celebrating birthdays and work anniversaries. Even producing an in-house certificate signed by the boss can communicate a lot of value to someone. These programs could also provide an extra day off or lunch for a team that went over and above in their work.
• Write a Thank-you Note
Studies have shown that writing a thank you note has a strong positive effect on the writer and the sender. You can increase your own happiness and nurture a relationship with someone else when you express the enjoyment and appreciation of someone’s impact on your life. Perhaps set a goal of writing one a month as a way to incorporate more gratitude in your life. Thank you cards have a lot of meaning for me. I often keep them and reflect on them long after the time I received them
• Thank Someone Verbally.
Do not underestimate the power of a gratitude encounter where you can verbally recognize someone’s contribution to your life or workplace. Moments like this (when presented in sincerity) create emotional connection, foster a culture of growth and improvement and reinforce a positive self-image.
• Keep a Gratitude Journal.
Do you count your blessings or do you think your blessings don’t count? Writing down positive things in our lives has proven to be a compelling way to move our mental state out of anxiety and stress into one of hope and optimism. It also serves as a great tool of reflection and helps us to keep a balanced view on life especially in difficult or challenging times.
• Count your Blessings.
Pick a time every week to sit down and write about your blessings — reflecting on what went right or what you are grateful for. Sometimes it helps to pick a number — such as three to five things — that you will identify each week. As you write, be specific and think about the sensations you felt when something good happened to you.
• Prayer and Meditation
Paul demonstrates how his thankfulness leads him into prayer:
• Building a Routine of Gratitude
If you want to start incorporating practical gratitude in your life, make a plan to succeed. Studies show that picking a time and place to start your new habit will increase your likelihood of succeeding. Perhaps you set an alarm on your phone or schedule time in your day specifically for this purpose. Jim Clear in Atomic Habits suggests “Habit Stacking”. This idea means adding a new routine to an existing one. For example; I always wake up and have a cup of coffee. My new routine will be that I will meditate on gratitude and the things I am thankful for while I drink my coffee, or at the start of every staff meeting I will recognize 3 people for their contribution this week.