To Build Gratitude in Your Company, Don’t Forget These Important Resources
Thanksgiving, a uniquely American holiday, is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. Regardless of whether you are American, it feels like a good time to write about how to build gratitude in your company. Even in the most cash-strapped and resource-lacking organizations, viewing your operation from the perspective of abundance refocuses the conversation from frustration to gratitude, from lemons to lemonade, from resource availability to available resources.
In this blog, I’ll offer thoughts on some important resources that we need to remember to appreciate. It will help build gratitude in your company, as more people feel appreciated and return that sense of appreciation to others. And check out last year’s blog if you want some suggestions on how to build gratitude at work.
The people who work on your projects
Project work can be exhausting. “Murphy” typically visits every project at some time. And many project teams have people who are juggling multiple projects, operational tasks, and personal obligations.
How can we support them better? How can we show appreciation for the little accomplishments? Can we let go of the times when something just doesn’t happen when you had planned? Can we say thanks more frequently, and mean it? What about providing a reference, if asked, without being steamed that they have decided to move on?
Your clients who pay their bills on time
Not all clients are flush with cash all the time. And some have long processes with lots of hoops to jump through when a check needs to be issued. Government bureaucracies are notorious for slow paying.
And since money in the bank is more valuable than a promise to pay, be grateful for clients that pay on time. And thank them for doing so.
According to the Harvard Business Review, just saying thanks can build gratitude in the workplace.
The systems in your business that work well
Most people that I talk with have never worked in a place where everything was perfect all the time. And yet some people seem to often gripe when some process, system, website, or piece of equipment goes down.
How can we turn our mindset into one of gratefulness for the systems that do work? Surely something is working that will allow you to move forward on an important task that is on your list for the day. It may not be the one task you had planned to work on. But can you shift your mindset and make progress somewhere?
The executives who spend sleepless nights wondering about the future of the company
I don’t know too many executives who don’t periodically think about what’s going on with their business after hours. Executives can feel the weight of the world. It might be an evening phone call from a disgruntled employee, board member, or press contact. Or the need to make payroll for your employees or find a new competitive product. Or it might be a personal medical issue that is distracting an executive.
Whatever it is, can we show a little more empathy? I know it’s hard to feel sorry for the executive that’s making millions every year when you are struggling to put food on the table.
We all have our challenges. How can we simply be more grateful for those who run the business? Can we be grateful that these executives employ us and approve our paychecks?
The parents who work in your company and juggle two full-time jobs
Raising children is a full-time job. I know that from first-hand experience. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s not. Yes, you can have great daycare, typically at great expense, and go off to an office. But at some point, someone must find and purchase an endless supply of clothes that children grow out of, keep them clean, shop for food, cook and clean, and follow up on homework or the latest academic, social, medical, or extracurricular needs. And something is always changing. This assumes that your children are relatively healthy.
How can you better appreciate your parents? How about just showing a bit of empathy for what they are facing when they drive home from the office?
And some people on your teams may be facing these same problems with their aging parents.
Your teammates with a great attitude
Have you ever worked with someone who was just unfazed by minor setbacks? The conference room is unavailable? No problem. Let’s go outside and have our meeting out there. The coffee is out. Easy. I’ll get some from the market and make some more. Joe’s not coming in today. His daughter is sick. Oh no. Is she okay? Is there anything we need to do to support Joe?
Increasingly we see research that supports the need to build gratitude in our businesses, homes, and communities. Several of these gratitude studies are discussed in an article in the Greater Good Magazine published at Berkeley.
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