While we may express appreciation in our personal lives, we often fail to carry the spirit of giving thanks into our businesses throughout the year. However, Gallup research has now substantiated that gratitude has a positive impact on business performance. In the book based on this research, How Full is Your Bucket?, authors Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D., surveyed more than 4 million employees. Their analysis, which included more than 10,000 business units and more than 30 industries, found that individuals who received regular recognition and praise:
- Increased their individual productivity;
- Increased engagement amongst their colleagues;
- Were more likely to stay with their organization;
- Received higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from their customers; and
- Had better safety records and fewer accidents.
Unfortunately, an estimated 22 million workers are presently "actively disengaged," or extremely negative in their workplace. This costs the U.S. economy up to $300 billion dollars a year in productivity.
How do you determine the impact you have on your own environment – both at home and at work? Rath and Clifton developed the following short Positive Impact Test to use as a guide for improvement:
- I have helped someone in the last 24 hours.
- I am an exceptionally courteous person.
- I like being around positive people.
- I have praised someone in the last 24 hours.
- I have developed a knack for making other people feel good.
- I am more productive when I am around positive people.
- In the last 24 hours, I have told someone that I cared about her or him.
- I make it a point to become acquainted with people wherever I go.
- When I receive recognition, it makes me want to give recognition to someone else.
- In the last week, I have listened to someone talk through his or her goals and ambitions.
- I make unhappy people laugh.
- I make it a point to call each of my associates by the name she or he likes to be called.
- I notice what my colleagues do at a level of excellence.
- I always smile at the people I meet.
- I feel good about giving praise whenever I see good behavior.
How did you do?