How gratitude can increase employee productivity and decrease turnover

Of all the wellbeing modalities I’ve studied and practised over the years, gratitude is one which remains a constant; because it works.

It works on a level beyond giving me a nice, warm feeling, although that is absolutely welcome and thoroughly enjoyable.

Gratitude also works on a mental, physical, and emotional level in a multitude of ways.

Gratitude on an individual level

·     from enhancing the immune system to decreasing the effects of neurodegeneration,

·      from reducing anxiety to increasing the production of happy hormones such as dopamine,

·      practising gratitude will affect how we think, feel, work and live.

Gratitude in the workplace

More studies are now being done on the effect of gratitude in the workspace rather than just on individuals and the results are encouraging.

One study done by Harvard Medical School showed that an expression of gratitude from managers to fund-raising employees led to a:

  • 50% increase in the number of calls that the
    average fundraiser made in a week
  • and that employees continued longer in their
    helping activities without being asked

A Glassdoor Survey revealed that

·       81% of employees were motivated to work harder if their manager showed appreciation

Studies show that gratitude will have an impact on:

– Employee motivation
– Engagement
– Turnover
– Teamwork
– Productivity

So how can you bring a practise of gratitude into the workspace?

Research has shown that the best way to show appreciation for someone is to make it genuine and personal.

People thrive when they are appreciated, it is part of our make up to feel connected and to belong.

How to bring gratitude into the workplace effectively

·       Recognise gratitude and appreciation need to be part of the culture of the company – as a given
employees should be treated well, so including opportunities for gratitude and appreciation can be included in the next level of cultural strategy.

·       Be as personal as possible – make any effort of gratitude or appreciation personal, picking up on
specific instances or team efforts will have far more of an ipact than a general ‘thank you’ will. So start taking notes and reference these when you can.

·       Be genuine – people can tell if an effort is forced or if it’s coming from an authentic place so try to avoid doing anything that becomes a mere tick box exercise and ensure you really engage with it.

·       Educate your teams on the power of gratitude on an individual level to create a positive state of
mind, and empower your people with this scientifically sound practise. The more your people practise gratitude individually, the more this will feed out onto others and into the workspace.


Show gratitude to your team with these simple and meaningful practises:

1. Year-end personalised thank you card

Now is the perfect time of year to send a heartfelt message of thanks to the individuals in your team and here’s a way you can do it:

  • Create a personalised email or e-card to each one of your team members (or split this up per department depending on team size).
  • Include a reason why you are thankful for them:
    – Make it personal
    – This will really show that person that you acknowledge, and value them

2. Include gratitude and appreciation as a standard in interactions
  • Every time you have a meeting with a team member or colleague get into the practise of giving thanks or appreciation
  • It will take a few seconds yet make a profound difference to the person receiving it, and also to you, the person giving it
  • This releases happy hormones all round!

The simple act of saying thank you to a colleague or employee for the work they have done, or the way they are handling their situation right now can go a really long way.

We may take this simple effort for granted but it can actually make a real difference to how someone feels.

Cultivating a culture of gratitude and appreciation is a winning strategy, and more than that, it is a way to help people feel genuinely cared for and appreciated.

How to bring more gratitude into your workspace

You may be interested in the following workshops and courses to educate and inspire your teams:

To find out more email me, Alex, at

Receive monthly inspiration from The Human Touch newsletter – for those with a passion for helping people thrive.  
This newsletter encourages better leadership by providing high quality wellbeing insights and initiatives that encourage a healthier, happier and more motivated team. Sign up here


The Human Touch Newsletter

for those with a passion for helping people thrive. Sign up to receive monthly inspiration for wellbeing in the workplace