Drive to the finish. Make things happen. Let’s get to it. Push. Push. Push.

Business leaders toss out these commands year round as they work to rally their troops and deliver results.

These phrases, and more like them, are especially popular this time of year – as we all push to hit our targets and deliver our year-end results.

It’s easy to believe a go-go-go environment leads to high productivity levels. Recent research, however, shows this might not be true.

Having An Attitude of Gratitude Makes A REAL Difference

We know our leaders and their effectiveness can have a direct impact on our bottom line. (They can impact our profits up to 30%!)

Did you know GRATITUDE can have the same type of effect? It can, and its reach extends well beyond profits.

Double the health care costs, 37% higher absenteeism, 49% more accidents, 60% more errors and defects, 18% lower productivity, 16% lower profitability, 37% lower job growth, and 65% lower share price over time – this is the long list of benefits a high-pressure company environment delivers.

Positive cultures, or companies with gratitude attitudes experience the exact opposite. They achieve more, have better corporate citizens, experience less burn out, tend to pay it forward, have a more positive feedback loop, have much higher employee engagement and commitment, are more resilient, and have happier, healthier employees.

The Bottom Line: Gratitude Generates Greatness & Growth

Ready to bring more gratitude into your company? Now’s the perfect time! Here are some easy ways to get started today.

6 Ways To Practice Growth-Generating Gratitude

1) Encourage positive connections. Research by Sarah Pressman at the University of California, Irvine, found that the probability of dying early is 70% higher for people with poor social relationships. Since most people spend a majority of their time working, or dealing with the people they work with, it’s more important than ever for these relationships to be positive.

2) Actually say thank you.

“Researchers at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania randomly divided university fund-raisers into two groups. One group made phone calls to solicit alumni donations in the same way they always had. The second group — assigned to work on a different day — received a pep talk from the director of annual giving, who told the fund-raisers she was grateful for their efforts. During the following week, the university employees who heard her message of gratitude made 50% more fund-raising calls than those who did not.”

Harvard Business Review

Dana Earhart Litif, a business coach and strategist, encourages her clients to ‘bookend their thanks.

“This is a wonderful habit to get in to.  Start and end each conversation, meeting, event by showing your gratitude.  Thank the person or group for their time, expertise, purchase (whatever the case may be) and end with another round of thanks.”

3) Listen. Make eye contact. Eliminate distractions. Set down your mobile phone or tablet, and move back away from the computer. Make the other person feel important, like their thoughts and perspectives are important to you. The more you can make people around you feel valued and appreciated, the more gratitude you’ll generate.

4) Help. Whenever possible, offer help. When it’s not possible, encourage your employees to help each other. When everyone has everyone else’s back, trust replaces competitiveness. Gratitude replaces bitterness. Growth replaces decline.

5) Extend empathy. Many moons ago, it was much easier to walk a mile in other people’s shoes. Today, with more and more people have specialized skills, this becomes much harder. Empathy is critical to building trust, driving effective communication, and ultimately, great leadership. A relationship can only exist when two people decided to relate to each other.

6) Avoid blame and forgive mistakes. This is probably the toughest action item on the list. Many people are so good at being the victim, not blaming is virtually impossible. And forgiving mistakes – forget about it. Mistakes are held over people’s heads, documented on performance reviews, and posted on boards in break rooms. This promotes shame, guilt, and fear…all negatives. Turn these into positives, and watch your productivity and engagement grow.

It’s that time of year – reflection, celebration, and gratitude abound. Now’s the perfect time to strengthen your gratitude attitude.


We are grateful for the many clients who trust us to build in to their people, optimize their processes, and transform their organizations. We are even more grateful for the people who build in to us. Thank you! (If you’re struggling with people or process problems, we can help. Contact us for a free review meeting.)