FOSTERING AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE IN YOUR WORKPLACE
As I sit here typing this, the last few leaves of fall are clinging to tree branches as a cold Bend breeze ushers in the holiday season. I’ve got a giant mug of coffee and a heart full of thanks for family, friends, health, and good wine.
While giving thanks–that act of appreciation for what we have–is a beautiful gesture, showing gratitude is so much more than saying, “I’m thankful for All The Things. Please pass the turkey.” Gratitude is the recognition of how the positive things in our lives are often due to the actions and efforts of other people.
I am thankful for a thriving business, but I am forever grateful for my rad team of creative human beings. It got me thinking about how companies, both large and small, can incorporate more gratitude into their workplace.
Here at Summary Content, we know a lot of things. We know how to tell stories and get results for our clients. We know how the right words create brand believers. And we know that people want to matter.
Therein lies the secret:
GRATITUDE IS ABOUT MAKING PEOPLE FEEL SIGNIFICANT
Gratitude forms a loop of positivity in the workplace. People feel respected, heard and supported, which in turn creates a culture of appreciation. How can companies foster an environment where gratitude is forwarded as quickly as that meme of a cat riding a Pop-Tart through outer space?
IT STARTS AT THE TOP
Gratitude in the workplace starts with leaders. Are you noticing the good work being done around you? If so, are you expressing sincere gratitude for it? Write a note. Have a one-on-one conversation. A simple “thank you” can lead to a million things.
YOU CANNOT FORCE GRATITUDE
Building a culture of gratitude isn’t easy. It’s something you nurture, not force. Instead of spewing out dozens of lukewarm “thank you”s over the course of a day, be specific and authentic with your praise. People don’t require big gestures, just heartfelt ones.
One idea we love is a Gratitude Journal for the office. This can be anything from a colorful sticky note wall (where people walking by can scribble anonymous gratitude notes) to a special dropbox or online message board where gratitude vibes are recorded and stored.
Imagine the positive chain reaction that could occur if you spent five minutes each day sending gratitude messages to others. It doesn’t have to wax poetic. A simple, “Thank you for figuring out that new piece of software and showing us how to use it. I see you. And I am grateful for you” works.
PULL BACK THE CURTAIN
Gratitude is about worth. People want to be respected, honored and heard–not just because they can un-jam a copy machine, but because they add value to the world. Most of us go to work every day because we want to make a difference as well as make money. We don’t walk out the door each morning thinking, “Yessssssss! I’m off to be another random cog in a giant machine!”
We want to matter.
Show gratitude towards the people who typically never receive it: receptionists, temps, the UPS guy, custodians, or the quiet team member scribbling notes in the corner. Each one plays a part in The Big Show.
In today’s crunchy and complicated world of spreadsheets and bottom lines, we need gratitude more than ever in the workplace. Let’s celebrate all that is good in life.
I’ll start. Thank you for being here. Thank you, my loving supportive family and friends. Thank you, incredible Summary team. I’m so dang grateful and fortunate.
P.S. How do you express your gratitude in the workplace? I’m listening.