Most of us were raised to say, “Thank you,” when we’re the recipient of kind words or deeds. But this simple gesture can sometimes be missing in the workplace. The benefits of having an “attitude of gratitude”—including
psychological and physical health improvements, an increase in empathy, and reduced stress— are well-documented.
How We Show Gratitude
I've talked before about how we give hamburgers to show gratitude and appreciation for each other. It's a staple in our ongoing efforts to
naturally weave gratefulness into our daily communication.
In addition to our ongoing efforts, we always try to do something in November to put an even bigger focus on gratitude. For example, one year we put up a thankful wall where team members wrote what they're thankful for on a sticky note and put it on the wall.
This year, for the month of November up to Thanksgiving, we're integrating gratitude into our daily full-team standups using the questions in this thankfulness calendar we created.
The daily reminder of small things we're thankful for helps us keep gratitude top of mind. And at the same time, we continue to learn more and more about each other.
How to Foster Gratitude
A culture of gratitude doesn’t just appear magically in a workplace. It takes a purposeful effort to bring a grateful mindset into your business. These simple strategies can help you get started:
- Lead by example – A simple but thoughtful hand-written note from a leader can do a lot for a team member’s sense of purpose.
- Thank the thankless – Those in the spotlight who tend to get all the accolades rarely do what they do in a bubble—there’s typically a lot of heavy lifting done in the background. Recognizing the efforts of those behind the scenes can go a long way in maintaining their motivation.
- Be specific – Tie your gratitude to outcomes if you can to reinforce positive behaviors and add value over the long run.
- Keep it up, even when everyone is busy – Gratitude can be a big motivator when the team is in crunch mode.
- Make it easy – All-company meetings or even a simple online platform for giving ad-hoc shout outs are great ways to encourage the team to show their appreciation.
Give it a try and I think you’ll see that the impact of cultivating a culture of gratitude at work can have a positive effect on engagement, productivity, and your bottom line—and it doesn’t have to be hard (or costly).