Fostering Team Appreciation and Gratitude: A Cornerstone to a Stronger Workplace

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Last month, I attended a White Coat Ceremony that marked the induction of students into the medical field. The keynote speaker, a highly esteemed and experienced physician, delivered an impactful speech. One particular aspect of his address caught my attention and serves as the focal point of this blog post, especially given the significance of this month when we are intentional about giving thanks. He mentioned that, throughout his career, he has endeavored to maintain an attitude of appreciation and gratitude towards his staff, colleagues, and students. He highlighted further how this mindset has played a pivotal role in fostering a positive and enjoyable work and classroom environment.

We are often so focused on getting tasks done and meeting goals that we sometimes forget to acknowledge and express appreciation to one another. However, fostering a culture of appreciation and gratitude can significantly enhance individual well-being and your overall teamwork. In this blog post, I explore why team appreciation and gratitude are essential, and provide some tips on how to incorporate them into your team. I also encourage you to read a colleague’s blog titled Data Thank Yous and Thank You Nots for additional tips.

Expressing appreciation and gratitude within a team has a profound impact on employee morale, retention, and overall performance (see link). It elevates the value placed on teamwork and motivates team members, thereby fostering a more engaged team. Additionally, it promotes stronger interpersonal relationships among colleagues, which can lead to improved and effective collaboration and mutual support. Finally, a crucial benefit of demonstrating appreciation and gratitude is that it enhances team productivity. When individuals feel a sense of ownership in their work, it always contributes to an overall increase in the team’s productivity. See link for more.

Showing gratitude and appreciation in the workplace is actually not difficult. It can be as simple as saying “thank you” when a team member goes the extra mile or sending a personalized note of appreciation. Don’t use generic or vague expressions, rather be specific to recognize and show that you value the specific contribution. See link for more expression ideas. Another way is to celebrate achievements by recognizing and celebrating small and significant achievements within the team. Acknowledging and expressing appreciation for both big and small achievements helps create a culture of appreciation. Great places to work notes that it is best to do appreciate and recognize promptly because timely recognition enhances the impact and shows the value of the effort or achievement. Waiting too long can diminish its impact and make it seem less genuine. Provide opportunities for growth by investing in professional development. Opportunities for training, mentorship, or career growth can be powerful forms of gratitude. Last, welcome contributions, feedback from all colleagues to create an open environment where everyone’s voice is valued. This creates a positive workplace culture. 

While attending a recent educational conference, I acquired a sticky note pad titled “Cultivating Gratitude” from one of the booths. I now use this notepad to express my gratitude and appreciation for various aspects of life, such as family, friends, work and also my team.

 At this juncture, I want to take a moment to express my appreciation and give a huge shout-out to my phenomenal boss and colleagues who make up our outstanding evaluation team. These ladies are dedicated, they always bring their A-game with a positive attitude, and are always ready to take on new challenges. Together, we have created a workplace culture that thrives on teamwork, creativity, continuous improvement, mutual respect, and support. I am very thankful and appreciative of my evaluation team. 🙌 👏 💪 🎉

Team appreciation and gratitude can help develop a thriving and successful team. Start today by expressing gratitude to your staff and colleagues as the keynote speaker noted, your colleagues/staff will thank you for it, reciprocate, and the positive impact on your team will be evident.