How to Create a Culture of Gratitude

The old saying is true: “please” and “thank you” go a long way. People like to be appreciated, to feel that their work is acknowledged. Yet in today’s workplace, gratitude has gone by the wayside and today’s workforce is feeling it.


While simple acts of kindness may not appear to make a significant impact, studies show otherwise, particularly in the workplace. Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report revealed 70% of workers aren’t engaged at work. 7 in 10 of the employees sitting in your offices, connected to your network, are disengaged from their role and the company. The solution? Create a culture of gratitude.


A grateful culture doesn’t have to be complex. For example, Harvard Health found that managers who say “thank you” inspire their team to work harder. Emergenetics revealed that displaying gratitude creates an engaged, well-rounded employee who is motivated to go the extra mile.


Creating a more thankful environment in the workplace can feel like an overwhelming task. Don’t worry; there are four simple tips to quickly launch an appreciation plan without putting a dent in your budget.

  • Say “Thank you.” Something as simple as acknowledging a favor or completed task from a coworker increases collaboration and recognizes their time and effort.
  • Accept compliments, especially from your team. It’s hard enough to approach your boss with a complaint, but a compliment? Receive them gracefully and thank them for the kindness.
  • Start at the top. Like any change initiative, it’s up to the organization’s leadership to set the example. Whether it’s an appreciative note from the CEO acknowledging the team’s hard work during the busy season or a monthly birthday celebration hosted by the company, finding ways to thank employees boosts morale and overall engagement.
  • Be authentic. Find what works best for your company. A half-hearted attempt at gratitude may do more damage than good, making employees feel unappreciated and forcing productivity into a nosedive.


This holiday season, cultivate a culture of gratitude that lasts beyond the New Year. It doesn’t have to come in lavish packages or expensive company retreats. You don’t need to set aside a portion of your budget or rebuild your HR strategy. It can all start with two little words: thank you.

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