May 7, 2021

Gratitude and the Power it Has to Change Work

Gratitude & the Power it Has to Change Work

Not long ago, I had a pretty bad day. To be quite honest, there was nothing particularly different about this day in comparison to any other day. I didn’t wake up to any bad news, the weather was very typical for this time of year, and I had just enough coffee left to brew myself a cup.

Even with such a normal day, all of the life-altering changes we’ve been describing as our “new normal” up until recently suddenly felt like too much. Pandemic concerns. Societal concerns. Political concerns. The combination of these major forces made even the everyday demands of normal life feel overwhelming. And then I had two conversations that changed everything.

These magical conversations weren’t with my family members or best friends — they happened with colleagues during run-of-the-mill meetings. Of course, we had business to attend to, but in each of these conversations we made some time and some space for one another to just be people. And to nobody’s surprise, I wasn’t alone in feeling stressed. According to the American Psychological Association, two in three adults report experiencing increased stress over the course of the pandemic.

Again, three people stressed out in these times is not at all surprising. However, what helped ease our collective stress during these conversations might be worth exploring.

Gratitude at Work

In each of these calls, we took a moment to thank one another. We thanked each other for sharing. We thanked each other for listening. And we thanked each other for showing up everyday for the people who need us — even while managing our individual stress. That shared gratitude changed the course of my day entirely, and it was a reminder of just how impactful expressions of gratitude can be — even at work.

The research behind this connection between gratitude and its variety of positive psychological, physical, and relational outcomes is well documented. So, with this reminder fresh in my mind, there are several professions (among many) whose people show up every day — for all of us, in one way or another — and this week happens to be the perfect time for all of us at UKG to express our gratitude and say, “thank you.”

Public Servants

As Public Service Recognition Week (May 2-8, 2021) comes to a close, we want to take a moment to honor the people who serve our nation as federal, state, county, local, and tribal government employees. Each year, UKG puts out a call to our customers to nominate a “public service superhero” in their life and we were able to capture some inspiring nomination highlights:

Patricia Robinson of Champaign-Urbana Public Health District honors their colleague, Jamie Perry

 

Kelly Wong of KIPP SoCal Public Schools honors their colleague, Militza

"Public servants routinely go above-and-beyond and it’s not for the recognition — they do it because they sincerely care."
Mike Galello | Industry Marketing Manager, Public Sector at UKG

Meet even more of our public service superheroes here.

Educators

Even as bedrooms and living rooms in households across the country transformed into classrooms over the past year, teachers stepped up to the challenge to ensure students received an engaging education no matter where they were. You have our respect, appreciation, and gratitude for all that you do — all the time.

"Teachers, thank you for your commitment to our students regardless of the circumstances. Thank you for your creative and engaging lessons that inspire students to discover their passions. Thank you for never giving up on the students who need you the most. Thank you for everything."
Rob Tibbs | K-12 Industry Principal at UKG

For Teacher Appreciation Week (May 3-7, 2021), some of our younger U Krewers also wanted to share a special thanks for the educators in their lives:

 

 

Nurses

I don’t think there’s anyone I know whose life has not been positively impacted by the care of a nurse — especially during this past year. As nurses, you care for all of us in one of the most selfless ways I can imagine. I don’t for a second imagine that it’s easy, but I hope you know that you are appreciated each and every day. Thank you.

"For Nurses Week 2021, I urge [nurses] to take a moment to reflect on the difference you make to the people around you: your colleagues and staff, your patients, your community. I’m positive that every one of them, as my team and I do, extends the deepest thanks to you for your selfless and tireless efforts to assure that the art and science of nursing is practiced at the highest level of quality every day."
Nanne Finis, RN, MS | Chief Nurse Executive at UKG

Our chief nurse executive Nanne Finis extends her gratitude for the brave professionals working in nursing on behalf of all of us at UKG in honor of National Nurses Week (May 6-12, 2021): Nurses Lead the Way


Is there someone on your team or in your profession who you’re grateful for today? No matter where we may work or what we might do, we’re all facing unique and often invisible challenges. If you have a moment, think of someone you’re grateful to work with. Whether you let them know in an email or during your next meeting, you’d be surprise just how far that gratitude will go — for both of you.