Tips to Develop a Culture of Gratitude

Staying with the theme of gratitude for this Thanksgiving week, I want to share some tips to develop a culture of gratitude. If you weren’t aware, there are science-based benefits of being grateful. Productivity increases, job satisfaction increases, as does your mental and physical well-being. Here are some actions to consider.

1. It starts at the top

Any successful business or cultural transformation starts at the top. The same is true when trying to develop a culture of gratitude. When leaders in the company recognize minor acts that would otherwise go unnoticed, others in the organization will do the same.

Leaders the next layer down will begin doing the same and it creates a snowball effect. At first, it might seem odd, but like anything, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Eventually, it becomes more natural.

2. Be specific

Similar to what I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, recognizing employees needs to be around a specific activity where the employee added value. Saying, “I want to thank Tom for showing up for work today,” doesn’t have the same weight as “I want to recognize Tom for his input on our project to reduce our customer lead time from 6 to 2 weeks.”

3. Do it regularly

Try to thank someone daily. Yes, daily. It will be hard at first, but as you flex your gratitude muscle, it will get easier. Thanking people regularly is a lot more genuine than thanking them once a quarter or once a year during an annual review. 

4. Provide opportunities for employees to give back

One way for employees to show gratitude is for them to give back to others in the community. Maybe you allow them a longer lunch occasionally to serve meals on wheels. You might choose a local school and provide resources to teach coding or business. I know early in my career I taught Jr. Achievement in a local high school. The company I worked at supported my time off for that activity.

I know a company in San Fernando Valley that allows employees 24 paid hours a year to work with charities. This is a $15M a year company. It’s based upon what is important to you as a company.

5. Make it easy to provide gratitude

I’ve seen companies with thank you walls where employees can leave large post-it notes on the wall thanking other employees. I’ve seen companies make thank-you notes available in break or lunchrooms so other employees can write hand-written notes and place them in a box. They share these over the company intranet on monitors throughout the company.

Brainstorm what works best for your company and culture and try it! You’ll soon develop a culture of gratitude.

As always, it is an honor to serve you, and I hope that you and your company are getting better every day!

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