When shaping a team culture, gratitude may not be the first trait you think of, but it is a vital component for having a healthy team. The way you lead can either build up or break down your team’s sense of gratitude. Most leaders are good at showing appreciation to their team for the work they do, but if you want to increase a spirit of gratitude, it will take more than a simple acknowledgement of a job well done.
Here are three practical things you can do to create a culture of gratitude:
- Thank them individually for their unique contribution. Over the next week, think about the unique contributions each one of your team members bring, then find an opportunity to share it with them. It may be a unique spirit they bring to the team because of their personality. It may be a certain talent they have that increases the overall effectiveness of the team. It may be a unique way they shape the team because of a consistently positive attitude they demonstrate. Discover something unique about each one and thank them for it. A well-crafted, sincere and specific thank you will be much more meaningful than a generic “great job.”
- Have team members encourage one another. Sometime over the next couple of weeks, use a staff meeting to have everyone go around and say something they appreciate about each individual in the room. By expressing their gratitude publicly, they will feel the weight of that personally. Some may even hear for the first time something positive everyone thinks about them that they were not aware of.
- Celebrate the wins. Your team has a mission statement, and you’re working hard toward a specific vision. Sometimes leaders run so fast and so far ahead that we forget to stop and celebrate. Celebrating the wins and showing the team how their contributions have made a difference can go a long way in making them feel grateful to be a part of such a great team. Accomplishing results is a rewarding feeling, and taking a moment to stop and celebrate those accomplishments will foster a sense of gratitude in your team for the opportunity they have to serve the greater mission of your organization.
Creating a culture of gratitude will take some intentionality, but I promise that the payoff will be well worth the effort.