From a young age, we’re taught to say “thank you” when someone does something nice for us. Whether it’s a parent tucking us in at night or a friend holding the door open, we show our appreciation through gratitude.
But gratitude can do more than just make the giver feel good – it can also benefit the receiver. In the business world, gratitude can actually be a major advantage for entrepreneurs.
Understand the practice of gratitude
Is gratitude just a nicety or something more?
The practice of gratitude is much more than simply being polite. It’s an appreciation for something done for you without expecting anything in return.
In the business world, gratitude can be shown in many different ways. It could be as simple as sending a handwritten thank you note after a meeting, or it could be verbal appreciation for a job well done.
Unfortunately, as Suzanne Vickberg, PhD of Deloitte, explains, people tend to underestimate the power of gratitude.
In today’s business environment, people are so focused on what’s not working or what needs to be done next that they often don’t take the time to stop and show their appreciation for what’s already been accomplished.
That is a mistake.
Benefits of gratitude for entrepreneurs
Gratitude has many benefits, both for the giver and the receiver. Let’s look at some of the advantages entrepreneurs can experience by showing gratitude in the workplace.
In today’s fast-paced world, stress is inevitable. But studies have shown that gratitude can help to reduce stress. Around 7 out of 10 entrepreneurs report feeling stressed daily, so finding ways to reduce stress is essential.
One study found that participants who wrote about things they were grateful for experienced lower stress levels and better sleep.
Gratitude can also help you to be more resilient in the face of stress. Being grateful for what you have, instead of dwelling on what’s going wrong, can help you see the situation more positively and better cope with stress.
Gratitude is essential for building and maintaining strong relationships. In the workplace, strong relationships are important for teamwork, cooperation, and achieving common goals.
Saying “thank you” is a simple way to show appreciation for someone’s help, and it can go a long way towards improving relationships.
In one study, researchers found that couples who expressed gratitude towards each other felt more connected and satisfied with their relationship than those who didn’t.
Not only do your colleagues and employees benefit from your gratitude – your customers do too. Keeping a customer happy can be difficult, but showing your appreciation can help to build a strong relationship.
Business owners tell stories of how simply showing gratitude with a short sentence made a big difference. It even helped them improve their bottom line.
Alexandria Broytman, the owner of EvaDane Jewelry, has personally written a thank you note to every customer her company has had since 2015. By taking a few minutes to show her appreciation, Broytman has built a devoted customer base that returns again and again.
In addition to reducing stress and improving relationships, gratitude can also increase productivity. According to a recent Global Happiness and Well-Being Policy Report, an increase in well-being can increase productivity by 10%.
When employees feel appreciated, they are more likely to be motivated and productive. The workplace becomes a positive environment where people work together towards common goals.
Speaking of employees, gratitude can also help to motivate them. A little appreciation can go a long way in making someone feel valued and appreciated.
Nearly 60% of employees feel they never had a boss who appreciated their skills and hard work. As a result, they are less likely to feel motivated or inspired by their work.
On the other hand, when employees feel appreciated, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated. A study from the Journal of Psychological Science shows that gratitude positively influences the relationships between managers and subordinates and improves job satisfaction and motivation.
Gratitude is a powerful tool that entrepreneurs can use to improve their businesses. From reducing stress to increasing productivity, there are many benefits of gratitude. So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and focus on the things you’re grateful for. You may be surprised at how much of a difference it makes.