The Power of Workplace Gratitude

#Employee Appreciation
Nov 11, 2021 · Blog
Thank You

Ever opened a door for someone, or let another person onto a bus ahead of you, only for them to ignore you and carry on as they were? Whether it’s a small gesture of kindness, or a bigger task that took a lot of time and effort, most of us look for a sign of appreciation, and that could be achieved with just two simple words.

We’re taught from a young age that we should say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, but we’re mostly only ever told that we should do so because it’s polite.

We believe there’s more to it than that.

According to Mitch Wasden, CEO of Ochsner Medical Center in Baton Rouge, the brain’s fundamental organising principle in life is to avoid threat and maximise rewards. Well, gratitude is one of the best forms of rewards. You might have noticed this yourself, with the comforting feeling you get after someone has thanked you for something you’ve done, but there’s a huge amount of evidence that shows that gratitude is super important for our health and happiness.

Even though we’ve always been taught to say thank you, some of us might have forgotten why we even bother.

So why does showing gratitude go a long way?

When we express gratitude to another person, we’re letting them know that whatever it is they have done or are doing hasn’t gone unnoticed. Gratitude encourages people to recognise the positives in their own lives as they attach a sense of achievement and purpose to their everyday activities. Gratitude is often associated with happiness, as it helps us feel more positive emotions, seek rewarding experiences, improve our wellbeing, and build strong relationships.

In the workplace, there’s a bizarre assumption that saying thank you to employees for something that they are being paid to do is unnecessary and a waste of time. We think they’re wrong! Recognising the hard work of employees through their salaries and the occasional bonus is obviously going to make them feel good, but for them to feel valued it’s vital that their work also gets recognition and appreciation.

In a recent survey from Each Person, 72% of employees said that they would work harder if they were appreciated with a comprehensive employee appreciation program. Do you know what over half of these employees said would make them feel more valued in the workplace? 

A simple “thank you”!

Being thankful and expressing workplace gratitude goes a long way and could have a transformative impact on your company culture.
“If thankfulness were a drug, it would be the world’s best-selling product with a health maintenance indication for every major organ system.”

-       Dr P. Murali Doraiswamy


What are the different types of employee recognition?

Staff recognition tends to come in one of the three ways:

·  Bonuses

The most lavish form of recognition, a bonus could mean anything from a small low cost monetary award given on the spot one day to a larger sum of money awarded to celebrate a bigger achievement. Thought often appreciated, if managers only ever choose this form of recognition for the efforts of their employees, without any words or language that it will seem

·  Written praise

Either on paper or digitally, this form of recognition is often used to quickly and easily show appreciation for an employee. It’s flexibility and makes it an easy option for showing appreciation and recognition.

·  Verbal praise

The oldest and most commonly used of them all! It doesn’t take any planning or require anything really, but it’s an effective type of recognition to show employees that you are grateful for their work.

Some small companies might be put off trying to establish a good employee recognition program because they think it would take too much time and a lot of money – but saying thank you doesn’t cost anything, it's free!

Here’s three different ways to say thank you to your employees:

1. A thank you note

Yep, it really is that simple! Leaving a note with the two magic words written on it is granted to make an employee feel appreciated. Often, it’s the little things that make a difference and they will still be thankful you didn’t miss the good job they did.

2. By encouraging peer recognition

Receiving a thank you from someone other than a manager or boss can be great for colleagues and has been shown to improve workplace relationships and employee morale. Here are some reasons to give your employees that will encourage them to say thank you to one another:

·  For helping out with a project or work that you needed support with.

·  For making you laugh or brightening up your day with jokes or just checking in on how you are.

·  For listening to you when you shared a personal problem or how you feel you have been feeling recently.

·  For being understanding or supportive while you juggled work meetings with looking after the kids

·  For going above and beyond at work while living your company values.


3. If you’re looking to go above and beyond for your employees, why not surprise them with a tangible gift?

Saying thank you on a handwritten note or shout out is still a great form of appreciation that will show your employee the recognition they deserve, but if you really want to stand out from the crowd, surprising them with a tangible element, like a gift, will provide a more memorable moment of recognition.

While the kind gesture provides the employee with the warm and bubbly feeling of recognition, expressing gratitude with a gift could elevate their self esteem even further. Gifts work as an aid to make sure they remember that feeling over and over again and never forget that good work will always be supported with recognition and rewards, in other words, they work to show an employee you think their efforts are worth making a big deal over.


Christmas is fast approaching and gift giving ahead of the holiday is the best way to thank your employees for all their hard work over the last year.

HappyCo. make it quick and easy for you to share the fun this Christmas, boosting morale and leaving spirits high. All you have to do is select your favourite box from our ready-made festive gift box selection or create your own box on our brand new marketplace and add any personalised message alongside it if you want!

We’ll take care of everything else, from picking, packing and shipping. Just to top it all off, we can deliver your Christmas box anywhere in the world!


Start building your box full of happiness today!
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