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The Power of Gratitude at Work

Last week, I attended the Executive Assistant and Personal Assistant (EAPA) Summit held in Singapore both as a speaker and participant. I got to know many Executive Assistants (EAs) and Personal Assistants (PAs) on a professional and personal level. Before attending the Summit, I thought the role of an EA was quite an ordinary one; comprising mostly of filing, making travel arrangements and meeting all the whims and fancies of their bosses. But this was not the case. These were executives who were passionate about their field of work and were zealous about helping their bosses. These were women of high calibre and talent who would many a times sacrifice their own personal time to make the lives and work of their bosses better.

When we returned from the workshop the executives had started an online group to share their excitement and knowledge. I was added to this group and enjoyed reading through their messages. The following day, there was one EA, Jane (name concealed for privacy) who mentioned that her boss was upset with her presence away from work and was in no way grateful that she had learnt so much from the speakers and workshops. I could tell from Janes’ messages that she was very upset and that he had just negativity impacted her morale. She felt completely unappreciated for all her efforts at trying to be an even better EA.

What Janes’ boss may not have realised is that, he just affected her engagement and productivity at work. Working in a fast paced and busy world, we are often required to get things done quickly, and to focus on the outcomes of completing tasks and projects. We are so focused on the transactions and not on the relationships. But if we STOP for a moment we can see that there is a human being on the other side of all our interactions at work. There is always someone we can show some:


The power of 'gratitude' surpasses the fuzzy feeling we have when someone thanks us. It goes beyond us and has a rippling effect through out an organisation. Research has found that 80% of employees who were appreciated at work were more likely to stay in the organisation as opposed to 60% who did not feel appreciated (Globoforce Spring 2012 Workforce Mood Tracker). Gratitude has also been found to improve individual wellbeing, lower stress and depression in the workplace, and improve employee engagement in the workplace.

How can you effectively show gratitude at work?

1. Stop

Take 10 deep and long breaths. This will help you come back out of the ‘busyness’ of work, out of your own head and back to the present moment.

2. Think

Think of one person at work you could be grateful for and why. Remember it does'nt have to be a big thing, little things do count as well.

3. Tell

This is the most challenging step for a lot of us. Make sure you give them an example of what they did and how that made your day.

4. Write

If you have developed a good bond with a colleague, employee or employer, how about giving them a “Thank you” note? This will not only brighten their day, it will be something they can keep as a reminder.

The author, Bhali Gill is an organisational psychologist, executive coach, trainer and writer at Corporate Wellbeing. If you would like to contact her about the post or for any enquires please drop her an email

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