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5 minute read

Can Gratitude Contribute to Your Career Success? Here Are 10 Ways it Can

Showing gratitude at the workplace starts with you. Why? Because it can help your career flourish.

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The workplace is often a place where businesses focus more on what their people can bring to the table. This leads to a very fast-paced, demanding environment that can lead to high stresses, poor work performance and even burnout. More often, workers also feel undervalued and underappreciated in the workplace.

The trend of the Great Resignation saw many workers leave their jobs globally, including some who felt undervalued and not appreciated. One reason is the pandemic brought to the fore a lack of alignment between a company’s values and the employee’s values or desires. Workers in Singapore were not immune to this post-pandemic phenomenon either, with some similarly leaving for feeling undervalued.

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A study published in the Academy of Management Review titled The Grateful Workplace: A Multilevel Model of Gratitude in Organizations, by researchers from the University of Washington, Seattle and the National University of Singapore, found that grateful people generally had more positive feelings, which lead to positive outcomes such as putting in more effort to completing their goals and attaining professional success. 

So how can showing gratitude at work, regardless of whether you’re a leader or not, benefit your career? We’ve put together a list of reasons how. 

1. Gratitude builds positive relationships 

When you show gratitude towards colleagues, superiors and subordinates, it promotes a more positive and collaborative work environment. It builds a level of trust and camaraderie between you and others around you as they feel encouraged and supported in their work. When others feel appreciated by you, they are more likely to support you and help you succeed in your career. 

2. It boosts team morale

When you show gratitude in the workplace, regardless of hierarchy, it makes everyone feel valued and appreciated. This creates a supportive environment and reduces stress, motivating individuals to contribute more. This then has a ripple effect to the wider team or even throughout the organisation, making work a better place for you to thrive. 

3. Gratitude can help you advance in your career 

Portraying gratitude can improve your reputation within the organisation, which makes you more likely to be considered for promotions or special projects. Colleagues and superiors may also be more inclined to support your career development because of the higher level of trust. 

4. It can also lead to networking opportunities and job referrals

Showing gratitude to others can help enhance your professional reputation. People will want to work with you more, leading to more opportunities for advancement and recognition. Furthermore, these good relationships helps peers and leaders remember you and put your name up for career prospects. 

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5. It increases job satisfaction 

Expressing gratitude can help you focus on the positives of your co-workers. When you enjoy your work environment and its people, you will feel more engaged at work, which helps improve productivity. What’s more, showing gratitude contributes to your overall wellbeing and creates a more positive outlook on your career. 

6. It helps to reduce conflict at work

Gratitude can be a powerful to mitigate conflicts. Showing gratitude and acknowledging your peers’ efforts can diffuse tension. It can also make it easier to resolve conflict. When problems do arise, showing gratitude for the efforts of others involved can reduce tensions and make for a more collaborative culture. 

7. It enhances teamwork and collaboration 

When you express gratitude to those you work with, it encourages the team to support one another and work together more effectively. Your colleagues are more likely to continue helping you when necessary, as it fosters better cooperation. 

8. Gratitude promotes open and constructive communication 

Showing gratitude at the workplace allows you to acknowledge the efforts and contributes of your peers. This leads to a better working culture and a more harmonious environment, where constructive feedback can be exchanged. 

9. It creates a positive company culture

Expressing gratitude contributes to a company culture that many would want to work for. When you set an example of appreciation for others, that sets the tone for culture in your team that can spread to the rest of the organisation, leading to improved productivity and job satisfaction. 

10. Gratitude contributes to creativity and innovation 

Because gratitude makes things more positive, it cultivates a can-do attitude, which is conducive to creative thinking. Such an environment makes everyone less fearful of failure and more willing to take risks, knowing that efforts and contributions will be appreciated. Your colleagues will be more willing to share ideas, provide constructive feedback and work together. 

Gratitude contributes to an environment where people will want to come to work. Wanting to feel appreciated and valued is one of the most basic human needs, so showing gratitude in the workplace can be very powerful. It builds positive emotions that helps you encourages others to do their best, contributing to a stronger, more productive team. That, in turn, makes your job more meaningful and moves your career forward. 

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