November 2021 Organizational Wellness Challenge – Organizational Gratitude
Last month, we challenged leaders in organizations to promote the collective emotional wellness within the organization and teams they serve. As we approach a day of thanksgiving, we challenge you this November to further support emotional and organizational wellness by embracing and promoting a culture of gratitude.
Extensive research has demonstrated the positive correlation gratitude can have on the emotional well-being of individuals and teams. Organizations that consciously and consistently share sentiments of gratitude tend to be healthier in terms of employee engagement and business results. Such organizations exhibit characteristics associated with optimism while reducing individual and collective tendencies toward depression and anxiety.
Authors such as Eric Mosley and Derek Irvin highlight gratitude as a key enabler of enhanced productivity and a primary factor that helps organizations thrive. In addition to her extensive research on vulnerability, Brene Brown discovered the clear connection between the practice of gratitude and joy or happiness of the individual.
Wouldn’t you like to be productive AND happy? Would you like to enhance the productivity AND joy of your team? Build and promote a culture of gratitude. Embrace this month’s Organization Wellness Challenge by considering one or more of the following suggestions.
1. Establish Rituals of Gratitude for the Person
As employers, supervisors, or colleagues, we often forget to simply acknowledge the humanity of the individuals who work for, or with, us. One of my former supervisors sent me and my colleagues a hand-written note at significant life milestones. At CEEK, we treat all employees and their guests to lunch or dinner on their birthdays. Dedicate a Slack Channel to share and recognize personal milestones or family events. Take the initiative to create a new ritual that simply celebrates the lives of your organization’s greatest asset, regardless of what they did or did not do, in the office that day, week, month, or year.
2. Establish Rituals of Gratitude for the Work
Similarly, you should take the initiative to recognize the valued contributions of your employees and colleagues. Establish the discipline and routine to look for opportunities to express gratitude. Some leaders write one or more personal notes of gratitude each week. Perhaps you can recognize an employee of the week, month, quarter, or year. At CEEK, we all end our updates during daily stand-up calls with an expression of gratitude. Regardless, of the more formal recognition initiatives, simply build the discipline to say, “Thank you.” A simple acknowledgement of effort can serve as a strong motivation for outstanding performance.
3. Engage and Train Your Team
Consider sharing this blog post with your team. Dedicate a meeting to brainstorm ideas on creative ways to practice gratitude individually or collectively. Engage an expert to share best practices and educational materials on the practice and benefits of gratitude. Simple initiatives of this nature will empower you and your team to build the discipline and support for each other. And you are sure to receive sentiments of gratitude in return for the consideration.
4. Measure Gratitude
While many organizations have survey fatigue, I encourage you to assess if and how existing engagement or other surveys may or may not measure gratitude. Do you assess the degree to which employees feel valued or appreciated? Consider updating existing surveys or starting a new one to measure the general sense of gratitude throughout the organization. Track progress over time as you embrace new rituals such as those suggested above.
As you prepare to gather with family and friends for a Thanksgiving feast later this month, we hope you consider how to express gratitude as a recurring ritual within the teams that you lead. Give thanks, enhance productivity, promote joy, and CEEK a Better Way®!