The effect of gratitude expression on job satisfaction in the workplace.

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Gratitude is known to have positive effects on human beings, ranging from a social to a working environment. In the working environment, gratitude shows to positively influence job satisfaction among employees. However, differences between various forms of gratitude and their effect on job satisfaction remain unclear. In this study, an experiment was conducted to investigate the following question: “What is the influence of the way (written, spoken, and none) institutionalized gratitude is expressed on the degree of employee job satisfaction?”. Participants were asked to perform a task after which they answered a question regarding their degree of task enjoyability. The prediction was that gratitude overall will result in a higher task enjoyability than no gratitude and that spoken gratitude will also yield higher scores than written gratitude. The test results partially confirm these predictions, since spoken gratitude indeed enhances task enjoyability more than does written gratitude. However, no significant difference was found between receiving gratitude in general and no gratitude at all. With this first step in studying the effects of different concepts of gratitude on job satisfaction, managers will be able to implement well-considered guidelines regarding spoken gratitude. Implications of this research deal with the nature of the task and ecological validity.
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