November is national gratitude month so let’s discuss the importance of being thankful for more than just turkey! This week’s episode 4 of the Creative Asylum Podcast goes deep into the 3 reasons why to have gratitude in business. Here I’d like to talk about the research behind gratitude and HOW to get it done in both your life AND business!
Research on Gratitude Practices
Did you know studies show daily gratitude practices bring businesses more positive results? Psychologists, Dr. Robert A. and Dr. Michael E. McCullough have researched gratitude for years. In one such study, they asked all participants to write something each week.
Group A wrote about things that happened during the week which made them feel grateful. Group B wrote about what they didn’t like during their week, and Group C just wrote about everything both good and bad.
After 10 weeks, the results revealed by far Group A were more optimistic and felt overall better about their lives. An unexpected bonus was Group A also exercised more and had fewer visits to doctors than the other groups.
In another study, Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman discovered writing and personally delivering a letter of gratitude to someone deserving gave a huge boost to participants’ overall happiness scores.
Gratitude Creates Mentors Not Bottlenecks
From my experience gratitude is what turns managers and leaders in business into mentors because when we are thankful for our team we are more invested in them. This leads the manager to problem-solving for and growing with these people instead of just assuming incompetence. When managers just assume incompetence and are problem people pointing out issues they are not growing. These types of managers work great in machine cog-like roles but in startups and growth-driven businesses, they become stress breeding bottlenecks.
Of course, studies cannot prove cause and effect without much more brain scan-based research, but most of the studies reveal a connection between gratitude and an individual’s health so just imagine what this could do for your business.
Managers who remember to say “thank you” have happier, healthier employees. A few studies also reveal employees work harder for grateful bosses which is no surprise right? Don’t you work harder for clients and customers who give praise and thanks? I sure know I do. Hint, hint, 😉. It’s not the main thing we look for but it is a huge factor in guiding our understanding.
Imagine how being actively grateful for your customers through notes and freebies could improve your retention rates. I know without a doubt loyalty programs work well for bringing back customers you worked too hard to keep.
Gratitude Practices in Your Home & Business
Now that you see the importance of gratitude here are some ways to cultivate a grateful team and business.
Write weekly thank-you notes. Do you remember that Jimmy Fallon Friday Thank You notes skit? It’s like that except I recommend you do it on Monday. Arrange your Mondays to start your week with gratitude for your customers/clients/employees/vendors/whomever. You can make yourself happier on a Monday and grow your relationship. Bonus, these people now have this thank you note to reflect on during any low times throughout that week. Make a habit of sending at least one letter of gratitude a week. Once in a while, write one for yourself. You do a lot for you!
Show gratitude mentally. Before you get out of bed or touch social media in the morning list 10 people, experiences, or places you’re thankful for. Try to avoid being thankful for things. Now at night before bed list, the happenings from the day you’re thankful for, especially challenges because that leads to growth.
Keep a thank you journal. Write for just 5 minutes a day or every other day about all of your blessings.
Anonymous Notes. Somewhere digital or physical in your business post anonymous thank you notes so everyone can see and read the good feels.
10 at 10 Meditation. At 10 a.m. or whenever works best for your business invite your team members to a meditation session that includes gratitude and calmness.