Giving thanks to colleagues can go a long way in improving your workplace environment.

When was the last time you thanked your coworkers? What seems like a simple oversight can have a big impact on workplace morale and productivity. Fast Company asked Robert Emmons, psychology professor at UC Davis and author of The Little Book of Gratitude: Creating a Life of Happiness and Wellbeing by Giving Thanks, about the science of expressing gratitude. A growing body of research shows how demonstrating gratitude can benefit you at work:

    It can improve the company culture. Studies indicate that lack of gratitude can drive absenteeism, turnover and job burnout. Showing gratitude is a remedy against these symptoms.

    It strengthens teamwork. Emmons points out that relationships are mutually reciprocal, and gratitude strengthens relationships.

    It motivates more than money. Research shows that appreciation is a better motivator than financial incentives, which can backfire.

Employee recognition programs are good ways to demonstrate appreciation in the workplace, says Fast Company, but micro-expressions like saying “thank you” are a simple, frequent way to express gratitude. Find out why you should make a habit of showing gratitude in the full article.