This article comes from Entrepreneur.
If you’re ready to tap into the power of gratitude, here are nine simple ways you can practice gratitude day in and out.
I get it. You have so much on your plate that I doubt practicing gratitude is a priority or at the top of your mind. However, if you block out a specific time to practice gratitude in your calendar, it will become a priority. And, eventually, recognition of what you have to be thankful for will turn into a habit.
For example, you can up your game of awareness by scheduling time to reflect with gratitude during a break. Consider a meditation-moment by closing your eyes and thinking about any pleasant surprises you’ve experienced so far. Imagine what life would be like without your employees. Consider how good your business is doing — and the thanks should go to your customers, employees and your community.
Gratitude is more effective when it’s authentic. For example, if an employee just completed a project, you can do more than offer a generic “thanks.” Name a specific action, saying something like, “Thanks, Jim, for getting this project to me before the due date. I appreciate that you’re so reliable.”
We all love celebrating the significant milestones, and, you definitely shouldn’t stop doing that. But the massive breakthroughs don’t happen daily. However, each day, you encounter smaller victories and happy moments. With that in mind, if you catch a team member doing something awesome, don’t hesitate to let them know you like that and appreciate their efforts. Those seemingly unimportant words of encouragement will add-up over time.
Compliments should be authentic and genuine, and you may need to practice the effort of saying something if you sound phony. Don’t be one-of-those leaders who say, “sure appreciate you” while reading a report. Keep in mind the importance of eye contact, an actual win, a real compliment. When your efforts are genuine, it makes the other person feel like a million bucks and becomes natural to you.
Examples could be complimenting your colleagues on their sense of humor, asking questions, always arriving early, or taking the initiative. Other options could be recognizing how helpful someone on the team is to others — their positive attitude, and their creativity or knowledge.
Every workplace has a “rockstar.” That’s necessarily a bad thing. But, you don’t want to always shine the spotlight on them. Give a shoutout to the back-up-singers, the backing band and roadies as well. Recognize your support columns, not just your angel-corbels at the top.
For example, I always give a shoutout and occasionally send my freelancers goodies. Sending something demonstrates to them that I appreciate their hard work, and it also makes them feel like a part of the team.
I would say that taking an interest could be the most natural thing you could do to show your employees your gratitude. Just take a couple of minutes to shoot the breeze with them. Some of your employees have no one but the team to depend on for support. You can include them as part of your team by giving them a shout-out.
Send an email, shoot out a quick Slack — do something. Ask your team questions so that you get to know who they are. Inquire about how they’re doing, and what they’re into and thinking about. It’s a simple way to show that you care about them as a person and that they’re a part of your organization’s community.
Research from ClearCompany shows that 76 percent of employees want opportunities for career growth. Go ahead and provide them with personal and professional learning opportunities. Examples are online classes, in-person workshops, or the chance to attend an industry conference — maybe even meeting up with you and your group.
Click here to continue reading this article.