by HLF Editor on February 2, 2017

By Robert Sicora, Sicora Consulting, Inc.

“Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.” -Randy Pausch

Gratitude is often underutilized, even though it is one of the easiest way to increase engagement within an organization.

Inspired by this, I have been reading up on research that speaks to what gratitude does to our brain and to the individuals we show it to. In this recent article in Inc. magazine they reference a body of research conducted by Dr. Christian Jarrett.

The research suggests: ”that the more practice you give your brain at feeling and expressing gratitude, the more it adapts to this mindset — you could even think of your brain as having a sort of gratitude ‘muscle’ that can be exercised and strengthened… the more of an effort you make to feel gratitude one day, the more the feeling will come to you spontaneously in the future.”

Exercising this muscle is critical if you not only want to keep healthy, but if you want to help your organization to have a culture of engagement too.

Research has long suggested that the human psyche likes to be recognized in some way, at least weekly. Think about that, it only makes sense. If you come to work on a Monday morning and no one acknowledges you, recognizes you, and/or thanks you for doing good work and contributing to the overall performance of the company for an entire week, and then you leave on a Friday evening not having received any form of recognition or gratitude… how might that impact things for you the next Monday when you get out of bed and get ready to do it all over again?

The simple act of gratitude not only helps us and our brain, but it helps others and their engagement, the concept of paying it forward really works, and now with the new brain research we understand that it is a muscle that we need to keep exercising.

When we reference the LeaderShip at the Helm’s 8 Factors of Engagement, one of those factors is Recognition, and there are three statements we use to measure every factor, the three we use for Recognition are:

  • I am recognized in the right way for the work that I do.
  • Recognition is distributed fairly when the team wins.
  • Our culture promotes, listens, and acknowledges when opinions are shared.

How would you respond to each of these three? What is one thing that you and your team could do to help improve each one? What would that do to help the gratitude within your culture?

Click here to see more about the 8 Factors of Engagement

Contact the Crew at LeaderShip at the Helm if you want to learn more about their current study using the factors.

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