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Leadership Tips: Foster Gratitude Together

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Last week I was at Ernst & Young’s Strategic Growth Forum, where CEOs and executives came together to talk about new trends in business. Specifically, the theme was growth requires ingenuity. In the sessions, the topics ranged from business effects of the current American election to overcoming funding challenges to leading with purpose. It was inspiring, and many of the entrepreneurs stated gratitude for their opportunities, peers, and successes.

Showing gratitude was a common theme. Interestingly, a 2015 study published in the International Business Research journal showed that collective gratitude is important for organizations. What do they mean by collective gratitude? They defined it as “group’s shared positive emotional state recognizing and being thankful for the good things happen”.

When organizations are collectively grateful, it can reduce turnover intention, foster employees’ organizational commitment, and help in “eliminating the toxic workplace emotions, attitudes and negative emotions such as envy, anger and greed in today’s highly competitive work environment.”

We all want this in our workplace. Given that, this week’s tip is to share your gratitude with your colleagues and employees together with the goal of creating a community around appreciation.

If interested, you can use an exercise called: Gratitude on the Spot. In an upcoming meeting, set aside some time for the group to focus on gratitude. Have each person on your team or in a project group stand up for two minutes while colleagues say out loud what they appreciate about the person standing. Have a timekeeper that makes sure you stay on track, so everyone else can focus on the task at hand.

Why? The importance of appreciating team members publicly is vital. By taking the time to do this, you are signaling to the larger group or organization that you value appreciating others.

How will you share your gratitude together?

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