Here’s Why Gratitude Is a Core Leadership Skill

What do you consider to be a core leadership skill? Time management, perhaps, or decision-making skills. But what if I said you should add gratitude to your list?

It’s easy to dismiss gratitude as a core leadership skill but we would argue that it is one of the most vital skills a leader can learn. If you want your employees to work harder and stick around longer—or just want to create a space for your team to thrive—then you need to be well-versed in the art of giving thanks.

Practicing gratitude regularly makes you a better leader

At the individual level, a regular practice of gratitude has tons of benefits: 

Mental health:

  • Reduced stress
  • Greater resilience
  • Better self-regulation

Physical health:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Better sleep
  • Stronger immune system

Productivity:

  • Stronger workplace relationships
  • Better communication
  • Increased output

It’s easy to see how all of these benefits combined might make you a better leader. First and foremost, improved mental and physical health just makes functioning easier. With a clearer head and more energy, it’s easier to get work done. You handle crises better and make better decisions. That’s a recipe for better leadership alone!

Ungrateful leaders can expect higher turnover

Numbers don’t lie, and according to a 2013 Glassdoor survey, over 80% of employees say they work harder for bosses who appreciate them. 

At a time when turnover is rising as workers are leaving jobs en masse for better opportunities, finding ways to retain your talent is critical. One thing to look at is why the Great Resignation is happening in the first place. Among problems of inadequate compensation and “crunch culture,” workers are quitting simply because they feel disrespected and unappreciated at work.

Maybe you’re not in a position to completely overhaul your company’s compensation or benefits policies. But anyone can start injecting more gratitude into their workday and reap similar benefits.

If you want the highest impact, however, this culture of gratitude has to go all the way to the top. When leaders act with gratitude, their team members will eagerly follow.

Gratitude is contagious and helps forge team bonds

Did you know gratitude is contagious? If you’ve ever had someone express their appreciation for you, you’ve probably also felt the urge to pay it forward. The workplace is no exception!

Imagine the ripple effect you could start simply by thanking or recognizing one person. That person goes on to pay it forward to a colleague, who pays it forward to someone else, and so on. 

Appreciating people out loud doesn’t just make them feel good, though. Being grateful—and expressing that gratitude—builds trust between you and your employees. Expressing gratitude shows your team you recognize their efforts, which instills confidence in them. That appreciation will make them want to work harder, sure, but it will also improve your future communications with them. People are more open with leaders they feel they can trust.

Cultivate a workplace attitude of gratitude with Fabulous

It’s time to start developing gratitude as a core leadership skill in your organization. What are some ways you can do that?

On the individual level:

  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Send thank-you notes
  • Reflect on what you’re grateful for

At work:

  • Make space for gratitude (e.g. a Slack channel)
  • Start each meeting with gratitude
  • Count your blessings when things go wrong

Finally, cultivate a culture of gratitude in your organization with the help of Fabulous. The Fabulous app can teach you and your employees how to make gratitude a daily habit so you can all reap its benefits. With content like the 14-day Gratitude Challenge, we think Fabulous for Work will make a great feature in the next entry of your gratitude journal!

Ready to get Fabulous? Contact us to schedule a free demo today!

References

https://www.glassdoor.com/employers/blog/employers-to-retain-half-of-their-employees-longer-if-bosses-showed-more-appreciation-glassdoor-survey/

https://www.ccl.org/articles/leading-effectively-articles/giving-thanks-will-make-you-a-better-leader/ 

https://blog.talaera.com/gratitude-leadership