We can agree that happiness in life is a fundamental human aspiration, and so is happiness at work. Research has shown that happiness and satisfaction in the workplace is essential for organisational success and is plausible to foster, support and build. Given the uncertain time and the choke-full of negative news, it is fortunate that there is a wealth of advice and information out there on how to stay sane, as companies and the media have been continuously covering on topics of positivity, resilience, and mental well-being.
Professor Martin E. P. Seligman, in his 2011 book Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being, defines the well-being theory as a construct, and that wellbeing is the topic of positive psychology with 5 measurable elements: positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, and achievement (PERMA). It is a combination of feeling good, as well as having good relationships, meaning and purpose, and accomplishment.
Gratitude can make your life more satisfying and happier. With gratitude, we benefit from a positive event or occurrence in our life, and the pleasant memory of it. Many of us tend to take it for granted, but taking the time to express gratitude can help to fortify our relationship with the other party. And by that, I do not mean the casual or quick, and nearly meaningless thank you. You will be surprised by the happiness that will stay with you when you make an effort to verbalise your appreciation and thankfulness.
And this applies to the workplace as well. When we show sincere appreciation to our colleagues, even a simple thank you can bring about positive reinforcement, breaking down walls, leading to friendlier working relationships, which ultimately lead to a more positive working environment and strong teamwork. And when we get rid of tension points and frustrations within the team, we will not be continuously be focusing on negative thoughts and troubles and can focus more on creating better solutions. With more focus and morale, it can lead to increased productivity and easier goal achievement.
Ultimately, it all starts at the top. Gratitude must be practised by the leaders in an organisation and has to be part of the culture. Employees first have to feel that they are treated well, appreciated, and recognised for their efforts.
I leave you with a quote from The Little Book of Gratitude by Robert Emmons, “Gratitude is the recognition that life owes me nothing and all the good I have is a gift.”