Gratitude in the Workplace / By Meghan Burgan
For my family and many others in the United States, the observance of Thanksgiving Day, culminates into a four-day weekend filled with extended family, feasting, football and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. But it’s also a time to reflect on all the goodness we have in our lives. Studies show that if you focus on your blessings year round, it can be good for your well-being and ultimately boost your chance for success. The practice of gratitude is engrained in the culture at GA Telesis and I’m fortunate to be a part of it.
Each month at GA Telesis, the Charitable Fund Committee has various causes that they educate employees on and in which they allow employees to take part of. One of my favorite charity events was our own Make-a-Wish Foundation celebration where we granted Catherine, a seven-year-old girl, battling leukemia, her wish of taking a trip to Disney World with her family. Many of my colleagues decorated the office and assisted in a company-wide luncheon to welcome her family to our GA Telesis family. The celebration’s theme was The Little Mermaid and it’s something I will never forget.
Hopefully, you are lucky to work at a company like GA Telesis that allows employees to take time off to help non-profit organizations like the Kids-in-Distress Foundation, the Movember campaign for men’s health or Breast Cancer Awareness to name a few. If not, you can always find your own way of giving back. Cultivating gratitude can be accomplished in many ways such as:
- Volunteer Your Time – Like the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the art of giving enabled everyone that donated their time and money a chance to focus on someone else’s happiness rather than their own. Giving shifts our focus from material things to a greater purpose.
- Bring Positivity to Your Company – Focus on being happy, look for the good in things and tune out the negativity. Don’t give into the comparisons, gossip or bitterness.
- Listen To Those You Admire – Find mentors at your workplace that offer words of encouragement and inspiration. Listen and watch their actions to help guide you to a successful career.
- Keep a Gratitude Journal – We all have to-do lists, how about a list of everything you are thankful for.
- Appreciate Your Surroundings – Enjoy the beauty of the world. Find the time to go for a walk, hike in the mountains, relax on a beach or take breaks from technology.
For those in management roles, remember that saying “thank you” to those working for you will likely make them feel motivated to work harder. 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.
GA Telesis also gives thanks to its employees. Our CEO, Abdol Moabery hosts multiple luncheons and meetings throughout the year giving praise to all those contributing to the success we’ve seen year over year. This energizes the staff and helps us keep up the momentum to continuously tackle new goals.
Hopefully this year, you might be moved to give your gratitude beyond the Thanksgiving Day table and start to actively practice it at work. I’ll start with letting my mother know I’m grateful that she helped me get my first job in aviation, when I was 16, to work with her at The AGES Group in West Babylon, NY. Fast forward 20+ years, I can reflect back on many fond memories of my friends at work coming to my FAU college graduation, attending my wedding in Las Vegas and visits to the hospital to meet each of my three boys when they were born. Even when times were not as joyful, my work family has been there to support me. A few years back, my oldest son needed surgery and spent a few weeks at the hospital. Abdol and Cathy Moabery checked in with me daily, my boss Jason Reed came to visit at the hospital, my peers at work sent gifts, flowers and well wishes. I want to give a big thank you to those who have helped me and given me support and thank you for taking the time to read a little piece of my story.