Gratitude is Necessary to be a Great Business Leader

In times of crisis and uncertainty, we look to our leaders for answers. During new moments of quiet and solitude, we long for the days when the printer would not stop humming and your co-worker stopped by your desk for the fifth time that day. As leaders, we can recognize that those around us are still struggling with their “new normal.” Showing gratitude for the little things can make a big difference for those you directly influence.

Gratitude brings loyalty from not only your team, but your clients and customers as well, and ActionCOACH RGV has practiced these tried and true methods of gratitude that increase communication, company health, and engagement within employees. Allow our business coaches to help support you and your team by adding gratitude to your agenda.

A Little Goes a Long Way

Gratitude is something a leader can invest in their team, with an amazing ROI. The effects of gratitude were studied in the works of Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., at the University of California, Davis. After studying over a thousand people, from ages eight to 80, they discovered the following gratitude benefits:


  • Stronger immune systems
  • Less bothered by aches and pains
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Exercise more and take better care of their health
  • Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking


  • Higher levels of positive emotions
  • More alert, alive, and awake
  • More joy and pleasure
  • More optimism and happiness


  • More helpful, generous, and compassionate
  • More forgiving
  • More outgoing
  • Feel less lonely and isolated.

While these are all great, the ones that business leaders should pay special attention to are the social benefits. By showing gratitude, leaders present themselves as approachable and encouraging. Many times, workplace conflicts become severe because tension or emotions were not addressed from the start, due to employees feeling they could not trust or bother their leader.

The Greater Value of Gratitude

Gratitude also shows people that their leader values them. Many choose to walk away from a workplace, despite the financial benefits, because they feel underappreciated. Every capable person could work or volunteer somewhere else, and leaders can retain their team by reminding each person that they are thankful for the work they do.

Dr. John Gottman, a researcher at The University of Washington came up with the 5:1 rule, which states you need five positive interactions to combat the effects of one negative interaction. With 37% of managers avoiding giving positive reinforcement, it’s easy to see why just 37% of employees surveyed indicated they were satisfied with the level of gratitude they experienced. Positive reinforcement, saying thank you, and giving reason why you are grateful for them, will reverse the negative interactions that are sometimes inevitable.

Emmons’ study also concluded those who kept gratitude lists had a higher chance of making progress towards personal goals. Teams that have individual goals met will in turn have overall goals met as well. A study from the University of Pennsylvania shows when leaders are grateful to their employees, the employees are 50 percent more successful.

It’s More Than Saying “Thanks”

Being a leader is hard - deadlines, responsibilities, and juggling everything in between weighs you down. However, as a leader, you are the example for others to follow. There are many ways you can show gratitude and appreciation.

1. Add “Reflect with Gratitude” to your daily agenda.

Even with our busy schedules, if we try to block out a time to reflect what we are grateful for, it will soon become a priority. From there, it can turn into a habit. Consider how good your business is doing and the thanks that should go to your customers, employees, and your community.

2. Be authentic.

When showing gratitude, give specific examples to the person as you are thanking them. You can point out an attribute you recognize in them that you appreciate. It can be easy to spot when someone is not genuine, so the details in your thank you’s will show your attention to their work.

3. Celebrate all wins - big AND small.

Big wins don’t happen daily, so celebrating small milestones will help get your team through obstacles they face. These small wins and acts of gratitude add up over time!

4. Take an interest in their interests.

Get to know your team and clients. Simple questions can reveal what is important to them, or give you a small glimpse into their worries and struggles.

5. Give them a voice.

People feel more valued when they have an opportunity to share their opinions and ideas. This might look different for each workplace, but the concept of having town hall meetings, suggestion boxes, or surveys will give them the platform they need to give input.

6. Invest in employee enrichment or learning opportunities.

76% percent of employees want opportunities for career growth. By investing in these opportunities, research shows that employees work harder and increase their desire to continue learning.

Stay Thankful Past Thanksgiving

There are many ways you can foster a positive environment with your team and clients. From greeting them each morning, to sending a lunch delivery, to respecting their time constraints, employees that feel they are appreciated are in turn loyal, happy, and goal-oriented.

We know that this year has been difficult for many businesses and ActionCOACH RGV is grateful for those who continue to trust our business coaches for their business support. To put our gratitude into action, we are gifting 10 businesses a complimentary 2021 strategic plan designed to bring more cash flow, profit, effective teamwork, less stress, and more free time.

You can apply to be 1 of the 10 here, or visit us online for a complimentary strategy session. Our Business Coaches have helped more than 100,000 business owners so far, and we’re truly grateful for the opportunity to support each client in building trust, loyalty, and support among their teams.

Take action and partner together with our business coaches for more tips on how to build an efficient, loyal, and revenue-generating team through showing genuine gratitude today.