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.

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