Gratitude in the Workplace

Mom isn’t the only one who deserves a “Thank you”

Gratitude seems to be the theme these past few weeks as Mother’s Day approaches. How could you not be thankful for the woman who changed your diapers and always likes your Facebook photos?

The appreciation and the evident result is a reward for all the late-night feedings and last minute PTA bake sales. Would you ever consider that your mother signed up for these tasks by choosing to become a mother and thus doesn’t deserve any thank you for her efforts?

I hope not! So why do so many people think showing gratitude for coworkers, employees, or bosses is superfluous?

Benefits of Gratitude

Being grateful helps us all, so let’s break down some of the benefits to showing gratitude in the workplace.

Increased Job Satisfaction

A study by Lea Waters showed “workplaces aiming to increase job satisfaction can do so through organizationally-based gratitude interventions and by institutionalizing gratitude into workplace culture.”1

Job satisfaction from gratitude can lead to increased loyalty and participation in after hours work events.

Positive Feedback Loop

This concept of paying forward isn’t new- this 11 hour Starbucks chain of customers paying for the next person’s drink is proof. When someone is shown gratitude, they are more likely to show it to someone else and that person to another, and so on. Showing gratitude can have an enormous domino effect.

Work is Meaningful

Receiving a thank you can help someone believe that their work has meaning beyond just completing it. Work that has meaning and a purpose is generally completed more thoughtfully and intentionally.

Showing Gratitude Has Benefits too.

People who show gratitude are less likely to burn out. Showing gratitude can also increase levels of determination, energy, and enthusiasm. Studies even show gratitude can improve well-being.2

The Leeward Experience

Outside of interactions with coworkers and superiors, at Leeward we have the opportunity to engage with our customers a ton.

Leeward Quick Answers Intern, Tom, recently shared how helping customers achieve a positive outcome helped him find satisfaction in his work.

“My former job was that of dealing in Customer Service as well, however, it was from a distance, as there was very little one on one contact with the end users.

There was rapport built with engineers, but the effect of what we were doing in the Vehicle Safety industry didn’t have the immediate impact to the end user, as we have here at the Service Desk.

The victories here are immediate, and the impact on myself has been profound. I often get excited when I am able to assist someone successfully.

I have never really been a person who has thought about helping others, and never knew the joy that could be had when doing so.”

Contrasting Tom’s previous experiences, the impact of the positive feedback he gets is evident.

Andrew is a Client Success Enablement Expert at Leeward has had a similar experience. Andrew has been providing support to users across many companies for the past 2.5 years and has experienced all different kinds of interactions. He has found that when customers thank him for his efforts, he feels most accomplished.

“I feel like I actually accomplished something. I like fixing things as well and if I don’t feel like I actually did that, it takes a toll on me. Also, it’s not on purpose, but I’m more willing to help those who I know are grateful. When I work with people that truly appreciate what I do, everything seems to go faster and I usually get off the phone smiling knowing that they are too”

Past just helping customers, Andrew expressed that positive feedback from superiors helps him to see that he’s on the right track and can have the same positive impacts making him feel more productive.


Gratitude is evidently important and can have many positive impacts for both those giving and receiving. There are many ways to display your appreciation for others’ efforts.

· Send an email

· Write a card

· Get lunch with them

· Buy them a small gift card

· Flat out say “Thank you”

Wrap Up

People work better when shown gratitude and when utilizing opportunities to show others gratitude. This can come from customers, coworkers, employees, or superiors. A person who receives gratitude is more likely to then pass that on to someone else.

Thank someone. Thank a few other people. Reap the benefits.


1Predicting Job Satisfaction: Contributions of Individual Gratitude and Institutionalized Gratitude

2Counting blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life.

About Leeward Business Advisors

Leeward Business Advisors is a Wisconsin-based corporation that provides business strategy planning, business improvement implementation, and full IT operational support. They offer world class Cloud Computing services, Cloud brokerage, Managed IT services, and a full US based Support Service Desk (called Quick Answers). Michael Polzin, CEO has 20+ years of enterprise business and technology experience gained while working at Allstate Insurance and Microsoft Corporation. Jason Klein, CTO has 15+ years delivering effective and efficient technology to Midwest companies.

Winners of KABA’s 2016 Fast Five Award




Gen Z Marketer Passionate About Communities

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Cass Polzin

Cass Polzin

Gen Z Marketer Passionate About Communities

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