The Incredible Value of Gratitude At Work – Huffington Post

Please check out my post on the Huffington Post

Huffpost Healthy Living


Gratitude = Healthy Heart = Lower Employee Absenteeism

A new study* by the American Psychological Association (APA) shows that people who feel gratitude are more likely to sleep better, be in a better mood, have less fatigue and have improved cardiac health. What does this mean for employers? Simply showing employees that you appreciate them on a daily basis could reduce the risk of heart and other illnesses in general, which in turn lowers absenteeism.

Workers who feel their employer appreciates their work are not only going to be motivated to work harder, but will have more energy and, according to the results of the study, will be less likely to have heart issues.

How can managers show gratitude at work? Acknowledge employees when they do something right instead of only pointing out their mistakes. When mistakes do happen, employers should not play the blame game—focus instead on fixing the problem. You can always later discuss with the employee how to avoid the error in the future, while still conveying that you value the worker’s contribution. Workers shouldn’t be walking on pins and needles, afraid to do anything, always fearful of the boss’s wrath.

The workplace model for many businesses is designed for failure. I can’t fathom why many employers continue to browbeat, demean and ruthlessly overwork their employees, thinking that this is what motivates their employees. The APA study is just one of many that show these tactics are the antithesis of what’s needed to actually improve productivity and worker loyalty.

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*The study was made up of 186 men and women who were diagnosed with asymptomatic (Stage B) heart failure. Some were asked to keep “gratitude journals” for eight weeks, writing down what they were grateful for. Those who kept the journal saw marked improvement in heart health.

Management Success Tip #151: Great Bosses Don’t React, They Respond!

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There is a world of difference between being responsive and being reactive. When you’re reactive, you live in a knee-jerk chaotic environment, where you’re pulled every which way by whatever situation happens to hit in the moment. No thought, no plan, no strategy. Not only does this lead to ineffective management, it’s extremely detrimental to your employees!

Want to win the “Worst Boss Ever” award? According to Karin Hurt, leadership consultant: “Be Reactive – Respond to the biggest fires first with full on urgency. Pull as many people into the mix as you can. When you’re stressed, make sure your team is stressed right along with you.”

A stressed team is, by definition, a poorly functioning team with low morale. Relieve your team’s stress by responding, not reacting.

To respond means to take a pause before leaping into action. Think through the impact and consequences of a number of alternative approaches. Consider what you’re doing before you do it, not once you’re in the middle of doing it.

Your team will thank you for it!

Management Success Tip #150: Want Solid Employee Ideas? Make it SAFE for Them to Talk!

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Asking questions of your employees is a tried and true way of engaging employee enthusiasm – not to mention getting valuable ideas and suggestions on improving productivity and performance from those in the trenches.

However, if your employees’ responses aren’t respected, appreciated and valued – or worse, employees feel that they’ve been punished or dealt with unfairly as a result of giving their honest opinion – then employees won’t give you their truth, all you’ll get are useless platitudes.

This is hurtful both to your business and to your employees.

Joseph Grenny, business performance consultant, discusses how a CEO successfully overcame the lack of safety felt by his employees when it came to voicing their concerns and suggestions. One of those ways was to praise publicly: “He [the CEO] created a safe forum for people to raise questions—then spoke publicly about those who asked them in laudatory ways… He was careful to sympathize with the questioners and to validate their concerns. The workforce took note— seeing evidence that disagreement would no longer be treated as insubordination. Questions could be asked anonymously or not, and over time more and more of the questioners identified themselves — which gave Phil [the CEO] a chance to commend them in the newsletter for their candor. Public praise is more about influencing those who hear it than those who receive it.”

Make it safe for employees to speak up, and openly express your appreciation for your employees’ contribution. You’ll win every time.