Gratitude is an important part of my life and I try to make sure to demonstrate in every action I make or word that I speak. Whenever someone does something for me even if it as small as holding a door open when I have my hands full, I try to thank them so that they know that I recognized their act and appreciated it. At work, I covered a shift for someone when an emergency came up. I was out having fun with my friends but when my colleague called, I decided to go and help them out. Afterwards, they called me and thanked me for helping them out in a tough time. After they called, it made me want to continue to repeat the behavior because I had done something nice and they had noticed. Sometimes that is all I wanted was a thank you. In addition, this made me want to do the same for someone else if I found myself in a similar situation where I needed help.
Unfortunately, I have also had times where I did not express gratitude and I should have. When I was sick, my boss let me leave work early which left the staff still there shorthanded. I left and never said thank you and never told them how much it meant to me that they would take the hit of being understaffed so that I could go home and rest. The thought to say thank you never really crossed my mind but months later, I realized that they may have felt taken advantage of without me telling them how much it meant to me and how much they helped me. I think people respond a lot better and are more willing to help when they know that they have really made an impact on someone else. The knowledge that you helped someone is often the impetus for more help in the future. Gratitude is the key to a cohesive work place.