Let’s face it—as leaders in medical billing, we work in fast-paced, rigorous environments. Much of our days are spent neck-deep in numbers, problem-solving, creating new efficiencies to ensure we remain competitive, and providing client results.

We all know staying focused on goals and metrics is vital to the health of any business. Did you know, however, that there is another element of a company’s landscape that can have just as much value but is often overlooked? It’s the health of our work relationships. Prioritizing connection and authenticity with colleagues and employees has become critical to thriving post-pandemic companies. 

There’s no doubt—burnout, stress, and loneliness are significantly impacting the workforce. In fact, 40% of employees in the United States attribute their jobs to negatively affecting their mental health. 

As a company leader, you may have read that number and felt it was a tough pill to swallow. But there’s good news. We can turn to research that shines light on solutions to improving the health of our workforce. Studies show that cultivating gratitude in the workplace can significantly shift our work environments to become places where focusing on employee recognition and creating positive environments increases retention, productivity, and profitability.

What Happens When We Practice Gratitude in the Workplace?

When employees receive authentic appreciation, they build stronger relationships, feel valuable to their teams, and are even less likely to call in sick due to an illness.

Do you want to see more rising top producers?  When you focus on initiatives that create more positive work cultures, people feel glad to give their best efforts. They’ll return your appreciation with their commitment and be much less prone to be on the search for a job elsewhere.

But there’s one critical piece to this puzzle: It’s understanding that people are perceptive. They know when you recognize them out of duty or for personal gain and when your appreciation comes from a place of authenticity. 

How, Then, Can We Authentically Practice Gratitude in the Workplace?

If authentically recognizing our employees is the secret sauce to improving culture, here are some strategies to model and express gratitude in the workplace.

Cultivate a Mindset of Gratitude for Yourself  

Start with yourself as the leader. Keeping a gratitude journal is one strategy to help train your brain to appreciate what you have. Taking five minutes out of your workday to intentionally focus on what you are grateful for can transform your mindset. When you face your days with a generally more positive outlook, you’ll interact with your employees and team differently, too. 

Express Gratitude for the Whole Person, Not Just Their Workplace Accomplishments 

Often, workplaces reward team members for completing reports more accurately and efficiently or submitting off-the-chart sales numbers. But creating a space where employees feel appreciated is not just about praising what they’ve done—it’s about honoring who they are. 

Next time you offer up words of gratitude to an employee, think about applauding their character instead of just their accomplishments. When they feel genuinely appreciated for who they are, your team members will be likelier to show authentic kindness to others. This trickle-down will create momentum for a more positive, fun environment in the workplace. 

Practice Gratitude in Varying Forms

We work in a diverse culture where employees have unique communication styles and backgrounds. It’s only logical to understand team members will likely receive appreciation differently. Getting a thank you note speaks volumes for some, while others may need more public praise. 

Study your employees. Think about their diverse backgrounds, how they communicate, and how they receive information. Then, consider creating a list of ways to express gratitude uniquely to them—an email, a care package, a gift card, or a special lunch out may be ideas. An individual approach to showing employees how grateful you are will strengthen your relationships with your staff and increase their loyalty to you.

Practice Gratitude as a Company

Demonstrating corporate gratitude can have a tremendous effect on your employees’ well-being. There are many ways you can get everyone involved in efforts that both feel good and do good. 

Consider partnering with a local community organization to involve your team in working together to help others. Host a Day of Gratitude, where the organization writes notes to clients to express appreciation for them. These activities remind employees to appreciate their own lives and see the greater good they can do as part of your company. Intentionally practicing gratitude together is a powerful tool that transforms organizations. 

Be Patient in Creating a Culture of Gratitude 

Don’t be discouraged if your current work culture is not where appreciation comes naturally. Implementing small steps to demonstrate gratitude in the workplace intentionally is a good starting place. Sending out a company-wide email once a week with prompts to cultivate a mindset of gratitude is a small, simple step you can take. Include questions to ponder, like, “What is bringing you joy this week?” or “Who on the team are you most grateful for today?”

Take advantage of a blank wall in the office where employees can add short notes about who they are thankful for at work. If your team works remotely, use your digital communication channels to create a thank you thread or message board. You may also appoint a team member who is a great encourager to lead a workshop on how they move through their workdays with an appreciation mindset. 

Gratitude in the workplace can significantly impact the health of your business. Ensuring your employees feel appreciated for who they are and what they contribute can transform a stressful, lonely landscape into a place of connection, positivity, well-being, and productivity.

4D Global Can Help You Create A More Positive and Profitable Work Environment. 

At 4D Global, we understand the importance of a strong company culture to building teams of exceptional people who support our clients with equally outstanding work results. By increasing your team’s resources through a collaborative partnership, we can help you focus on leading your medical billing organization, software company, or medical group. Let’s start a conversation to learn how we can work together to strengthen your company and make everyone feel like they’re part of a winning RCM team! 

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