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In Print Leadership The Essentials

Gratitude in the Workplace


Karen Raisch-Siegel, the executive director of LifeWorks of Southwest General, shares the importance of gratitude in the workplace.

My CEO recently shared an excerpt from the article, “Why Gratitude is an Essential Leadership Skill” by Sarah Sain. The article is about the importance of gratitude in the workplace. As leaders, we can create and reinforce the employee culture with our words, actions and interactions each day. 

Below are the excerpts from Sain’s article.

Gratitude is a powerful — yet often underappreciated and underutilized — leadership skill that can transform your organization.

A number of studies over the years have linked gratitude to happiness, improved health, resiliency, stronger relationships and heightened productivity — even better sleep. So when you cultivate a thankful culture within your organization, you’re creating an environment where your team can thrive.

Gratitude is about appreciating the people behind your organization’s success and acknowledging the contributions they make each and every day.

Practicing it within your organization allows you to build trust with the individuals on your team and with your customers as well. With that trust at the core of your relationships, honest conversations can take place with respect and an open mind.

What this means though is that gratitude is not optional, and it can’t just happen occasionally or by accident. It must be practiced intentionally and frequently so that it becomes a habit ingrained in your organization’s culture.

And that habit must start at the top. Leaders create the culture within their organizations through their words, actions and interactions.

Recently, I experienced what Sain is talking about.

I met with my management team and they reminded me of the importance of the written expression of gratitude. They were adamant that regardless of age, a handwritten, well thought out note to a staff member can make all the difference.

To implement this new practice, I purchased a box of “Thank You” cards. At the weekly management meeting, staff gratitude notes are included as an agenda item. The team provides me names of those who have done something a bit different, above and beyond, etc. that deserve a note. The response has been overwhelming. I never knew that spending a few extra minutes on gratitude would be so impactful on others.

Karen M. Raisch-Siegel

Karen M. Raisch-Siegel is the executive director of LifeWorks of Southwest General, a health and fitness facility owned and operated by Southwest General Hospital. Karen has been the executive director for over 15 years and is responsible for full operations of the health and wellness center. Karen holds a master’s of science degree in exercise physiology and a bachelor’s of science degree in advertising and business administration. She is a member of the REX roundtables for executives, currently serves on the Middleburg Heights Chamber of Commerce board, the Olmsted Chamber of Commerce board and Valley Riding Inc. board of directors, and is a certified group exercise instructor who actively continues to teach.

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