As we put Thanksgiving to rest and eagerly approach the December holiday season, thoughts of thankfulness and gratitude fill our minds. Many companies use the holidays as an opportunity to express appreciation to their employees and customers.

However, gratitude is a mindset that is worth cultivating all year long. Studies show an attitude of gratitude reduces stress, boosts immunity, increases mental capacity, and lifts spirits. While these are all undoubtedly beneficial for any individual, they also translate into benefits for the workplace. For example, a culture of gratitude within a company increases productivity, raises morale, and strengthens team spirit.

As a leader in your business, you have a significant influence in setting the tone and culture of your company. Here are some ways to create a culture of gratitude in your team.

  1. It Starts with You

Set the tone for the company by practicing gratitude yourself. Strive to establish the habit of being thankful no matter the circumstances. This mindset takes work to develop, but it will trickle out to those around you. One way to nurture gratitude is with a personal gratitude journal. Set an additional example by showing genuine appreciation to employees, both corporately and individually. Look for creative and unique ways to let each team member know that you are thankful for their effort and diligence.

  1. Begin Meetings with Gratitude

Foster an attitude of gratitude in your team by incorporating the mindset into your everyday interactions at work. For example, starting team meetings with words of appreciation is a fabulous way to instill this mindset. Some ways to do this are:

  • Give shoutouts to team members. Don’t forget to thank those who are often overlooked, such as your HR department, IT team, and the janitorial staff. Recognizing their contributions encourages others to look around them and see the little things they take for granted.
  • Share positive customer feedback with the team. Recognizing and sharing your team’s impact encourages team members – and inspires gratitude in them, too!
  • Open the floor. Go around the table and allow everyone to share something for which they give thanks.
  • Make it a tradition in the company to be open about communicating gratitude.
  1. Provide Space for Gratitude

Encouraging a mindset only gets you so far if you don’t also provide and suggest ways for people to apply it. For example, create a communal gratitude board where employees can post uplifting notes. Or set up a gratitude jar and read the comments during a team meeting. In addition, encourage (and set an example of) sending handwritten notes of appreciation to one another. Another way to cultivate gratitude is to cooperate as a team to help a non-profit organization. Helping others, sometimes those less fortunate or experiencing challenging circumstances, turns the emotion of appreciation into an act of giving back.

During the holiday season, as you gather with your loved ones and celebrate all there is to be thankful for, we want to make sure you know how thankful we are for you. At Gillmann Services, “We work for you!” After all, we wouldn’t be where we are without you. Happy Holidays!