To read this content please select one of the options below:

Workplace affective well-being: gratitude and friendship in helping millennials to thrive at work

Siti Khadijah Zainal Badri (Division of Organisational and Applied Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Social Science, University of Nottingham, Semenyih, Malaysia)
Wai Meng Yap (Department of Psychology, HELP University, Shah Alam, Malaysia)
Hazel Melanie Ramos (Division of Organisational and Applied Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Nottingham Malaysia, Semenyih, Malaysia)

International Journal of Organizational Analysis

ISSN: 1934-8835

Article publication date: 5 August 2021

Issue publication date: 31 January 2022




The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between gratitude and workplace friendship with affective well-being (AWB) at work amongst millennial employees. Specifically, it details the mediating effect of workplace friendship in explaining the linkages between gratitude and AWB at work.


This study used a sample of 272 millennial workers in this study. A survey invitation was sent out to all of the respondents through email. A 20-item job-related AWB (Van Katwyk et al., 2000) scale was used to measure AWB. Workplace friendship was measured using six-items of the workplace friendship scale (Nielsen et al., 2000) and gratitude was measured using McCullough et al.’s (2002) six-item gratitude questionnaire (GQ-6).


The study found that gratitude and workplace friendship enhanced workplace AWB among millennial workers. Workplace friendship functioned as a mediator, which delivered the effect from gratitude towards workplace AWB. Gratitude was found to positively predict workplace friendship and subsequently workplace friendship positively predicted workplace AWB.

Practical implications

Nurturing positive feelings at work through excellent psychosocial resources and healthy work friendships would improve millennial workers well-being. Henceforth, encouraging millennial employees to cultivate workplace friendships, can help the manager to enhance millennial employees’ feeling of belongingness, and thus, promote better AWB.


Investment on employee’s human capital and values can be valuable resources to increase millennial employees’ performance at work. Millennial workers are a unique generation that put emphasis on the subjective experience. Hence, capitalising on their subjective experience can be one of the keys to better increase their well-being and performance at work.



Authors would like to thank Associate Professor Dr. Michael Mustafa (University of Nottingham) for the valuable insights provided to this manuscript.

Funding and conflict of interest: There is no funding associated with this research.


Badri, S.K.Z., Yap, W.M. and Ramos, H.M. (2022), "Workplace affective well-being: gratitude and friendship in helping millennials to thrive at work", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 479-498.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles