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The Importance of Gratitude in School and At Work

November is a month when we often focus on gratitude, and at Cleary University, we believe that an attitude of gratitude helps students, staff and faculty succeed. It also positions our students to graduate with a positive perspective, which makes them excellent candidates for companies looking to hire good candidates.

Studies show that when you create a workplace culture centered on gratitude, employees feel greater job satisfaction and focus on what they appreciate about their workplace, rather than what they dislike.

This dovetails with a growing desire for purpose and meaning at work, as well as millennial and Gen-Z workers looking for companies that offer a sense of belonging beyond just completing tasks and collecting a paycheck. This is an organizational and psychological shift that is affecting workplaces, employers and employees across America – and perhaps, worldwide.

The key to creating a culture focused on gratitude is seeing the human side of your employees, showing appreciating for work well done, generating a sense of respect, mutual benefit and community within a workplace, and setting up systems that empower employees to develop their skills and reach their fullest potential. When your employer believes in you, you can more easily believe in yourself – and stick around!

Good workplace culture is something we teach our students to look for when job-searching. Often, it’s hard to discern in an interview, but when you have the opportunity to chat with employees, it’s easier to ask how often they’re recognized for their work, how appreciated they feel and how happy they are at work.


Also, it’s easy to sense the energy of a place. While it can be hard in this time of virtual interviews to assess the workplace aura, morale, engagement and energy directly affect performance, productivity and retention.

i am grateful

Some good questions to ask to determine workplace culture:

  • How long does the average employee stay with the company?
  • How soon should I anticipate an opportunity for promotion or advancement?
  • Is there upward motion for the position I am interested in?
  • How will you help me grow, expand and develop my skills?

If every employee is relatively new, run!! Great workplaces keep people a long time.

The 2019 Global Happiness and Well-Being Policy Report issued by the Global Happiness Council revealed that on average, when employees feel taken care of, appreciated and recognized, productivity swells by at least 10 percent.

Experiencing gratitude shifts the focus from what we don’t have to what we do. Appreciating the good in our lives and work helps us to expand the gratitude out to recognize the abundance in our lives. After a decade of research, Dr. Robert Emmons, the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude, discovered that people who feel gratitude regularly are happier, healthier and have better relationships.

This month, look for opportunities to be grateful. Share appreciation for others. Write thank you notes. Give compliments. Chances are good that not only will you feel happier about your life, your work will reap the benefits of this perspective.