November is upon us—the season of thankfulness. Every year around this time, we try to reflect on what makes us thankful.
For example, in 2016, we set up a thankful wall so team members could share what they’re thankful for:
While November is a good time to focus on showing thankfulness, we work really hard to show gratitude year-round because we’ve experienced the benefits of it first-hand. Here are ways you can practice daily gratitude at work.
Find Gratitude in Your Challenges
As a team, we’re constantly looking at how we can improve—our processes, our work, our culture. When we face big challenges, like unexpected changes in scope or lack of resources, we proactively work to solve them. And in doing so, we force ourselves to find gratitude in these experiences. We’re thankful that we can overcome even our biggest challenges together.
It may sound odd, but the Far Reads Book Club has helped us come together to learn how to be grateful (among many other lessons). For example, The Happiness Advantage talks a lot about finding happiness through practicing daily gratitude. And The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership focuses on building habits of gratitude one day at a time, not all in one day.
After 11 years, we’re a tight-knit team, so when one person finds something they like or that helps them grow, they share it. A few years ago, Kate shared something with the team that has helped her recognize and appreciate all the little positives around her: The 5 Minute Journal.
The 5 Minute Journal is different than the standard blank notebook journals of the past. There are daily prompts to help you recall and recognize the small joys throughout your day. And, you guessed it, it takes just 5 minutes. By sitting down to document what you’re grateful for, you remember and appreciate the little things, like that the sun was shining or how your kid gave you an unprompted hug.
Helping others can make you happy and more grateful for what you have. We have, and continue to, volunteer as a team around the Cedar Valley. Some of our recent volunteer activities include: adopting a family in need each Christmas, helping House of Hope with several big projects, serving lunch at the Salvation Army, and more.
Far Reach offers a flexible work schedule, so team members are able to volunteer during the day if they so choose. I’m personally involved with my kids’ schools, the Cedar Falls CAPS program, and various church and community events.
Share Your Gratitude Out Loud
Are you thankful for something or someone? Say it! At Far Reach, we show our gratitude by giving each other hamburgers. When someone does something that reflects our Core Values, we try to recognize it. Doing so helps both the hamburger giver and receiver feel good about being part of the team.
Spend Time with Those Who Bring You Joy
It’s cliché, but the Far Reach team is really like a big family. If someone needs help with something, another team member is there to jump in. I work with people who push me and make me better—and I’m thankful for that. I’m around people I like and respect all day, which helps me focus on continuing to improve scrum processes at Far Reach.
Beyond our Far Reach family, our flexible schedule allows us to take time off to spend time with our immediate family as needed, something I know many people on the team are grateful for.
Find What Makes You Happy
It’s important to find the small things that bring you joy—and further acknowledge and recognize them. We work hard at Far Reach, but we also have a lot of fun (#FRCV10). We poke fun at ourselves and share goofy pictures, memes, and videos. Everyone needs a laugh now and then, even at work, right?
Far Reach has a culture where we’re encouraged to practice gratitude throughout the year. It’s important for a strong culture, and we’ve purposefully worked toward fostering thankfulness in everything we do. And as a team member, I’m certainly grateful for that.