Harnessing the power of gratitude within our teams

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As leaders of companies, we don’t need to see any formal statistics to know that the happiness levels of our team members (not to mention ourselves) impact performance, creativity and motivation significantly.

Isn’t it worth it, then, to invest earnestly in practices that increase our happiness and the happiness of our team members? Of course it is. (Sorry to answer for you!)

Here at Growmotely, we use what we call ‘culture tools’ as one way to ensure that we are actively maintaining and nurturing the cultural ecosystem that we want. 

What are ‘culture tools’ you ask? Well – let’s think of a ‘tool’ as a device we use to carry out a particular function. And therefore, a ‘culture tool’ then becomes a device we use to carry out a particular function related to (in this case, company) culture!

Let’s explore more.

In order to effectively bring to life any desired culture, we – of course – need to articulate with 100% clarity WHAT exactly said culture is – and what it isn’t. Here at Growmotely, we have written down what our culture is, and we review it at our all-hands meeting every month. For example, we – just to name a few – (1) take ownership of our work; (2) practice what we preach; and (3) believe that gratitude makes an impact.

If this is our desired culture, what processes and systems do we then have in place to make sure that we are fully embodying and living out said culture?

One extremely simple and impactful ‘culture tool’ that keeps our team members engaged, feeling connected and quite frankly, feeling loved and seen (!), is our ‘gratitude and shout-outs’ practice. This is part of our Growmotely platform – so available to all companies registered on our platform (not just ours!) – and it works as follows. When you feel gratitude towards someone, you can log-on to the platform, locate the team member in question, and send a message expressing that gratitude. The slice of gratitude will be delivered directly to the person’s inbox in the first instance. The second part of this ‘tool’ is that all of the shout-outs that were given throughout the week will be sent to everyone in the company once a week – at the end of the week.

Although simple, it is revolutionary and transformative.

This is how we express gratitude…

…and this is how that person receives our gratitude!

Five reasons why this particular ‘culture tool’ allows us to fully embody our ‘gratitude makes an impact’ value:

1. Just like taking a shot of espresso, the receiver of the gratitude experiences a jolt of being appreciated, and this builds confidence and comradery and organically increases motivation.

2. As the sender, when we express gratitude we feel good – we are giving a valuable (and perhaps priceless) gift to another person. We are also inherently recognizing the value of that person’s contribution, reminding ourselves that everyone’s gifts are needed to get the job done…and that there is no ‘I’ in team! (Cheesy for sure…but perhaps true?)

3. Most of us know – from our own behavior – that if we have a place to store certain ideas or thoughts, we will generate more of those. So, for example, if you keep a list of ‘countries to visit’, your brain will generate more countries to visit than if you didn’t have that list. Having a designated place where we can store / channel our feelings of gratitude towards others simply means that we will experience more of that gratitude.

4. We are able to see a dashboard of what is happening across the company on the gratitude front. What we pay attention to grows! Let’s pay attention to important things.

5. Our brain’s attention naturally gravitates towards problem areas in life so that we can solve said problems. If our knee is in pain, for example, we aren’t – rightfully so – consumed with thoughts regarding how our wrist is working beautifully, or how our shoulders are wonderfully flexible. The way this brain mechanism works is of course useful in many ways, however it is not useful if we would like to foster showing appreciation for our incredible ‘wrists’ and ‘shoulders’. Therefore – we need to engineer it.

One of our team members the other day was offered a job out of the blue. He wrote to me and said, “There’s not enough money in the world that could match what I’ve found at Growmotely.” Although it’s not wise to assume that him feeling this way is a direct result of this particular culture tool, it is surely safe to assume that consistently giving and receiving authentic gratitude is a rare space to live in, and if we find ourselves in that space, we are going to prefer to stay there.

If you would like to learn more about this particular culture tool – and others that we use at Growmotely – please reach out to us. The Future of Work, as we see it, is a place where culture tools such as our ‘gratitude and shout-out’ practice is extremely commonplace and widespread. We would love for you to join us in creating this reality!

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