Although the holiday season can increase stress in the home and workplace for many, it’s also a time when we focus our thoughts on a spirit of giving and gratitude. There’s no reason to leave your attitude of gratitude at home though. In fact, bringing it with you to the workplace can actually increase your business success.
Here are five quick and easy ways to cultivate a culture of gratitude at your small business:
- Give a straightforward and specific compliment. While not the most cutting-edge idea, it’s proven and it works. Offer a genuine compliment to a member of your staff and be specific and straightforward about it. Walk up to their desk, use their name, and let them know of something they’ve done that you’re grateful for. (“Jen, thank you so much for jumping in and helping me with that last minute meeting on Monday. I know it was a late night; I really appreciate you taking the extra time to make sure it was perfect. I couldn’t have done it without you!) If this seems out of character for you, try putting your thoughts into words and sending your message through an email or a quick note. Give the thank you you would want to hear for a job well done, and be the example in the office for employees to pass it along.
- Bring a treat to the office. It might seem silly, but who doesn’t appreciate a fresh donut or a little jolt of caffeine to get through the day? A little thank you in the form of a treat goes a long way. Leave your treat in the breakroom with a quick note– “Hey everyone! Just wanted to say thank you for your efforts in helping to land that Smith account this week. I think you’re all great!”
- Express your gratitude at the beginning of every meeting. It doesn’t have to turn your meeting into a sappy love fest, but a quick compliment to the team (or individual) on something they have done well since the last meeting starts things off on a good note and helps employees feel more confident and excited about their work.
- Thank those you serve. Once you’ve created a culture of gratitude within the office, work on thanking the people you serve. A simple email or phone call to clients and customers to say “thank you for putting your trust in us” speaks volumes of the integrity of your company.
- Find the good in everyday. Any small business owner can tell you that it’s not all roses and rainbows at the office. Many are stressed about deadlines, client retention, employees, taxes, and a long list of other common hurdles in business. With so many obstacles, it can be easy to focus on what is going wrong within the business. However, keeping a quick gratitude journal–just one or two lines each day–that recognizes what is going well in business can really turn the day around. Refer to it often and especially when things don’t seem to be going well.
How do you practice gratitude in your workplace?