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“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” —Zig Ziglar

Something quite curious has been happening lately, and I’d love to get your thoughts. As you may know, my “job” as a professional speaker is to help companies keep their top talent and best customers from becoming someone else’s. I speak about employee engagement, recognition, and retention.

During each of my programs, I start with gratitude strategies (Grategies) and demonstrate the power of appreciation through research, stories, and practices. After setting the stage, I move onto how creating a culture of recognition in the workplace leads to higher retention, engagement, productivity and profitability levels – all of the “important stuff” in the workplace.

However, whenever I ask meeting attendees to share their most significant takeaways from the program, they rarely mention the specific engagement tactics – it’s the gratitude they remember. “I should thank people more.” “I am going to write more thank you notes.” “I am going to start a gratitude journal,” etc.

So, I asked myself, “Why does gratitude resonate so profoundly with people?”

The answer? Because it works.

When you are having a stressful day, if you take a minute and look for the good, you can usually find it. Once you get into the habit of looking for the positive, you feel better. When you feel better, you have a real impact on the other people around you. When you have a more positive effect, you feel better and have more to be grateful for – it’s a beautiful cycle.

And, if you want your employees to be engaged, but you’re not willing to start with changing yourself, your attitude, and your ability to find the good in the people that work for you, engagement strategies alone don’t work.

It must start with you.

 

I would love to hear some of the changes you’ve experienced with gratitude – whether you’ve been keeping a journal for years, or you just took a moment to focus on thankfulness yesterday – what changed?

 

Because I’m sure something did!