How often do you say thank you? You might not be saying it as often as you think.
A study published in May in the journal Royal Society Open Science has found that when we ask for an object, service, or help, people almost always comply. In fact, “of the 1057 cases in which there was an immediate, clear response to the request, only 129 cases were refusals to comply, while in the other 928 cases the requestee fulfilled the request.”
However, the people who offered to help were rarely thanked: only about 5.5% of the time. Moreover, when the receiver failed to give thanks, the giver very rarely made a comment about the lack of gratitude, which tells me people don’t seem to necessarily expect thanks!
Is this good news or bad news? I’d say both: it’s great that people are inclined to help when asked. It’s wonderful that the default position for many people is to be a giver. On the other hand, it’s troublesome that the givers are so rarely thanked, especially since a number of scientific studies suggest there are huge and tangible benefits of gratitude.
I did some research, and here are some of the benefits of expressing thanks, aside from the most fundamental truth that it is just good manners!
- Increased productivity: Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business found that when managers thanked their employees, the staff was motivated to work harder.
- Deeper relationships: According to a 2014 study published in Emotion, thanking a new acquaintance makes them more inclined to want an ongoing friendship or work relationship with you.
- Better physical health: Numerous studies have found that grateful people have higher immunity, stronger hearts, and lower blood pressure.
- Better mental health: Studies show grateful people are more resilient and less likely to feel resentment and envy.
- More patience: people who experience gratitude, are more patient, suggesting gratitude can influence long-term thinking.
- More job satisfaction: when people feel appreciated at work, research shows they like their jobs better.
- Reduced aggression: According to a study at the University of Kentucky, people who practice having an attitude of gratitude are less likely to seek revenge or retaliation.
- Increased reciprocity: gratitude is more than just a response, it’s a motivator that makes someone more likely to help you in the future.
- Better sleep: According to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, grateful people sleep better.
- Better self-esteem: a 2014 study found that gratitude increases self esteem and reduces social comparisons like resentment and jealousy.
Givitas, our knowledge collaboration platform, is built to encourage seekers to say “thank you” to the people who have taken time to offer help. The platform auto-populates a few grateful phrases (see below) but also gives you room to write a custom note, so that Givitas users can start to enjoy some of the benefits above!
In closing, check out this post on 32 New Ways to Say Thank You in English. It’s intended for non-native English speakers, but if only 5% of us are saying thank you when someone does us a favor, maybe we all need a refresher!
If you’d like to check out how Givitas has gratitude and other science-backed features built into the usability of the platform, schedule a demo today!Request a Demo