Many traits are associated with strong leaders: being confident, passionate, and decisive.
But one critical leadership characteristic that doesn’t get the attention it deserves is “gratitude,” which mean letting employees know their hard work is appreciated.
The best leaders do two things:
1) They say, “Thank you” to their employees, and
2) They take the time to be grateful for themselves and for where they are today.
The power of any organization is the collective energy of the people. Strong leaders recognize their people form the soul of the company and are directly responsible for the success of the organization.
When employees feel they’re working for a leader who is engaged and is thankful for their efforts, it creates a better environment, instills loyalty, and drives performance inside and outside the company.
If leaders don’t take the time to thank and appreciate their people, they’re missing the greatest opportunity to connect with them. People respond to gratitude, which makes the work they do more meaningful to them, which in turn is more impactful to the leader.
Expressing gratitude is a simple motivator that makes people happy.
Happy employees mean greater productivity. Shawn Achor, Harvard researcher and author of The Happiness Advantage, has demonstrated through his research that when people work with a positive mindset they perform better in the face of a challenge and every business outcome improves.
3 things to know about gratitude
If you want to increase happiness, productivity, and be a better leader, there’s three things you need to know about gratitude and its impacts on an organization’s culture:
• Authenticity is essential.
People aren’t fooled by insincerity. Gratitude is something leaders need to really feel. They can’t fake it because they’ve been told it’s important. If their gratitude doesn’t come across as real or if it’s not founded in something they are truly grateful for, their inauthenticity shows through.
The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated. ~William James
- Gratitude is a perspective shifter.
When the boss routinely expresses gratitude, employees are inspired to take on challenging situations and reframe them in a way that reminds them something positive and good comes from them. Showing authentic gratitude creates positive energy and a positive workforce. Smart leaders understand the direct correlation between positivity and performance.
Gratitude always comes into play; research shows that people are happier if they are grateful for the positive things in their lives, rather than worrying about what might be missing. ~Dan Buettner
- Being willing to show gratitude rubs off on others.
Gratitude is contagious. When people in an organization see their leader doing it, they follow along, which makes an organization’s culture even more positive. We live in a world where we’re bombarded with negativity. When leaders inject gratitude by being grateful for what is good, for what is pure, for what is true, for what is real, and for what is right, they’re able to change the environment.
None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy. ~Fred De Witt Van Amburgh
Everyone likes being told they’ve done well and are appreciated. The more appreciated people feel, the more willing they are to do a great job the next time, and everyone wins…employees, leaders, and the organization.
Today’s guest contributor is Brad Deutser, president of Deutser LLC, a consulting firm that advises leaders and organizations about achieving clarity especially in times of transition, growth or crisis.
Image credit before quote added: Pixabay