No one gets to the top alone, and no one achieves their career goals in a vacuum without help from others.

So whether you work in a “people-focused” field like sales or you’re a numbers person managing a team of accountants or actuaries, learning to make gratitude and a consistently positive attitude part of your daily routine is essential to on-the-job success. Customers who feel appreciated buy more and remain enthusiastic clients for a longer period of time, while the same studies show that employees who feel genuinely appreciated (“seen”) are happier on the job, more loyal and productive.

Customer and employee satisfaction don’t necessarily correlate to the lowest price or the highest salary. Success in both arenas is about gratitude and appreciation.

In the workplace, establishing a positive atmosphere of gratitude isn’t easy. It takes effort, but it doesn’t necessarily require introducing multi-level employee appreciation programs. Gratitude is about creating an atmosphere of appreciation that starts at the top and sets an example.

Positive Research

Authentic long-term research has shown that a positive workplace leads to a happier, more productive workforce. Even in a tough economy, job satisfaction matters. Workers aren’t happy “just to have a job” and the number one reason people leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated. Sixty-five percent (65%) of Americans say they received no recognition in the workplace over the last year.

Decades of psychological research – led by a team from Gallup – found that more than 20 million American workers feel “actively disengaged” (extremely negative) in the workplace, a situation which impacts not only the quality of life, but also the bottom line—up to $300 billion in lost productivity.

Gallup found that employees who receive praise are more productive, engaged with their colleagues, stay with their organizations longer, and even have fewer accidents on the job. In addition, in the spirit of paying it forward, employees who receive positive reinforcement even generate greater loyalty and satisfaction from their customers.

Positivity is like drinking water—We all need it and most of us don’t get enough. However, it is possible to go overboard. And, obviously, no workplace environment can be all sunshine, all the time. A certain degree of constructive feedback is necessary and, ultimately, productive.

What’s the right balance? Gallup’s research recommends five instances of praise/positive reinforcement for every one example of feedback or negative reinforcement. Productivity continues increasing up to 13 “nice jobs” to 1 “needs improvement,” with a slight drop after that point. So, while it is possible to overdo it, most of us who’ve been in the workplace know that overdosing on positivity is almost impossible. It’s one of those “good problems” we seldom get to face, like choosing between multiple career opportunities or chances for promotion.