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Top 10 Reasons Why Gratitude Makes You a Better Employee

February 22, 2010

1. Increases your job satisfaction and promotes loyalty to your employer (Podsakoff, Mackenzie, Paine, and Bacharach, 2000).The next time an aspect of your work causes negative feelings, write down what you love about your job and remember why you are grateful for this position.

2. Raises your productivity. Research found you are a more energetic and optimistic employee as a direct result of your gratitude(Emmons and McCullough, 2003).  Find small things to be grateful for in your daily life, such as the person who serves you coffee in the morning or your transportation to work.

3. Enhances your adaptability. A grateful person is more likely to substitute feelings of bitterness and resentment towards a difficult task with appreciation and acceptance (G.E Vaillant, 1993). The next time you face a challenge at work, rather than letting it frustrate you, appreciate what you will accomplish by overcoming the challenge.

4. Improves your communication skills. Expressing gratitude towards your colleagues as well as strangers will result in them being more open to communicating with you (Goei & Boster, 2005; Okamoto & Robinson, 1997).You can accomplish so much with a communicative co-worker.

5. Boosts your health. In a recent study, individuals who focused on being grateful rather than on not being angry were found to positively impact a variety of important physiological functions such as improved heart, pulse, and respiration rates which can have a positive impact on health and reduce stress (McCraty, Atkinson, Tiller, Rein, and Watkins, 1995).  Instead of feeling guilty that you can’t get to the gym, take a moment to be grateful for the little things  you do have time for.

6. Builds your personal satisfaction (Wood,  Joseph & Maltby, 2009).  If you are happy with your accomplishments, you will be more supportive of your co-workers’ success.  The next time you resent a colleagues’ achievement, stop and express gratitude for what you have achieved.

7. Reduces depression. Gratitude fosters a glass half full approach since grateful individuals have higher levels of optimism (Emmons and McCullough, 2003) which can also help you maintain emotional stability. The next time something goes wrong, try to see the silver lining and consider the positive implications that may not be evident yet.

8. Promotes cooperation among you and your co-workers can lead to a positive organizational culture (Podsakoff, Mackenzie, Paine, and Bacharach, 2000).

9. Motivates you to achieve your personal goals (Emmons and McCullough, 2003).  Expressing gratitude for completing each stage of the process will inspire you to keep going until you meet your goal. The next time you set a goal for yourself, divide it into smaller objectives and acknowledge each step you accomplish.

10. Strengthens your immune system. According to Lisa Aspinwall at the University of Utah, a study compared the immune systems of healthy, first-year law students under stress. By midterm, students characterized as optimistic maintained higher numbers of blood cells that protect the immune system, compared with their more pessimistic classmates.

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