How Thanking a Good Boss Pays Off for You

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Your supervisor can make or break a job. When you've lucked into a great boss, even the least inspiring work feels worth doing well. If you're dealing with a crummy supervisor, even a dream role might be ruined for you.

The line between the two might be thinner than you'd think, and more within your power to influence. Researchers at the University of Central Florida have just released a study on gratitude in the workplace — specifically, how life gets better for everyone when a manager feels appreciated. This isn't about brown-nosing or even sucking up to a terrible boss. Rather, it's about giving back to a leader who, ideally, should be giving their all to you and their team.

"On days supervisors felt more appreciated, they had more energy, and this translated into higher levels of optimism, life satisfaction, job satisfaction, and helping," said coauthor Susan Sheridan.

A good boss, especially a "servant leader" type, can help reduce employees' stress, even during a pandemic. If you're looking to boost your manager, which can be a benefit to you, look for ways to ask them for their expertise. If you are a boss, take stock of how much energy you're putting into your team, and whether it's too much.

Throughout the workplace, it's not uncommon to have a neutral or antagonistic relationship with someone who could be a great asset and ally. But being a jerk is no way to get ahead — so try for warmth and gratitude as a baseline. Your higher-ups should notice.