Mayes Wilson & Associates

Creating a Culture of Gratitude Year-Round

Sara Wilson, CPCC |

It’s November, when expressions of gratitude are so frequent they can be lost in the “noise” and become almost meaningless. Here are some things I’ve learned that can help you create a culture of gratitude year-round.

Teams that work well together are found more frequently in organizations where appreciation is both vertical and horizontal (gratitude is expressed between leader-board-staff, and also between staff members).  Leaders in these organizations express appreciation when others are doing things right and people feel appreciated, consistently and genuinely, for their contributions.

It’s easy to get into the mindset of only appreciating someone when they go above and beyond their job. But think about how great it is to have a person on the team who consistently performs well day after day. It’s equally important to appreciate them, too.

Research supports my observations.  In a study by Adam Grant of the Wharton School, employees who were explicitly thanked for their work by a manager, or even a distant supervisor, were found to be 50% more productive afterwards.

Christel Wendelberger, author of Mindful Gratitude: Practicing the Art of Appreciation, shared these tips for organizations that want to infuse their culture with gratitude, empathy and respect:

  • Notice how the contributions of each team member are supporting your success (in big and small ways) and express what you notice.
  • Build in time for teams to reflect on their work together.
  • Create a Gratitude Wall where team members can express gratitude for someone or something.

Here are some more ideas to show appreciation to your staff, donors and board throughout the year.