Considering the fact that on average, people spend approximately one quarter of their lives at their place of employment (which doesn’t, of course, include overtime), it makes sense that you should feel thankful for the company for which you work.

As one might imagine, all companies fall somewhere between two polar opposites. At one end of the spectrum are those companies that are the best of the best, those that candidates clamor to work for and that always attract the best talent available. At the other end are those companies that experience a high turnover rate.

More than anything else, employees want to be happy and fulfilled where they work, and that involves a company culture that promotes forward-thinking, consistent goal-setting, flexibility and open and honest communication, among other things.

Below is a six-point checklist for giving thanks for your employer:

  1. A defined role within the company – Not only should you be aware of the company’s plan for the future, you should also know, without a doubt, what your role is within that plan. If there’s some uncertainty regarding your role, you should be able to sit down with your boss and engage in an open discussion, one that will adequately address your concerns.
  1. The opportunity for professional growth – Does your employer encourage you to attend training seminars, conferences, or conventions in order to hone your skills? A good employer is eager to invest in the development of its employees. After all, what company wouldn’t want its workers to be the best they can be?
  1. Recognition for achievement – We’re not talking about money here, but other forms of recognition. Sometimes, simple verbal compliments given on a consistent basis mean more than a cost-of-living raise. Being told that you’re doing a good job can be very motivating.
  1. Honest, constructive evaluation of your work – You won’t be able to reach your full potential if you don’t know all the areas in which you need to improve. This feedback must be delivered in the proper fashion, however; scathing reviews that include no specific instruction for future growth are counter-productive, to say the least.
  1. Flexibility and a corresponding work-life balance – People don’t live to work; they have families and other commitments they want and need to fulfill. Is your employer sensitive to these commitments and does it recognize their importance in your life, and thus, the impact they can have on your job satisfaction?
  1. A reward system based on performance – When it comes to money and other financial compensation, does your company reward those who work the hardest and achieve the best results, or does it just dole out the same raises every year, regardless of performance?

If you have concerns about any of the areas listed above, you should be able to approach your boss and discuss those concerns, with the goal of resolving them and moving forward in a positive manner. If, on the other hand, you feel that approaching your boss would be a bad idea, perhaps a broader and more comprehensive evaluation of your work situation is appropriate.

You might end up thanking yourself later.