By Jessica Lizza,

It goes without saying that 2020 has been a weird year, and this might cause burn out in your team. How can you help your employees feel connected and engaged this holiday season?

We brainstormed a few ways we could inspire our team to stay engaged; gratitude activities was the first thing that came to everyone’s mind.

According to UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Magazine, gratitude actually leaves lasting effects on the brain and this could contribute to improved mental health over time. In short, gratitude makes the person receiving it feel good, and it also helps the person expressing it. Add in a wonderful community of employees, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for good vibes and conversation, ultimately leading to better engagement and happiness amongst your team.

Drive Positive Engagement with Gratitude
Here are 5 ways you can start promoting gratitude with your team to drive more positive engagement.

  1. Start a Group Chat
    Whether your team is in the office, still working remote, or finding their way through a hybrid set up, you’re most likely using a communication tool to stay connected. But, have you thought about using it for more than just work conversations? Apps like Slack, Basecamp, Microsoft Teams, Mattermost, and so many others allow you to create channels(chat rooms) that revolve around a specific topic. Ask your team what they are grateful for, and ask that everyone nominate the next person. Bonus points if you nominate a person outside of your immediate team.
  2. Gratitude Pumpkin
    Specific? Maybe. Festive and long lasting? Definitely. While real pumpkins only last a few months, their craft-version cousins will stick around for many years to come. Ask your team to submit what they are grateful for (if they are comfortable) and get a lucky volunteer to write it onto the pumpkin. This could even turn into a tradition each year until you have a collection of fall decorations with everything to be thankful for. It makes your team feel valued and gives them a reason to engage. Not to mention, you’re using the. most popular fruit of the season. (Keep in mind that this activity works best in an office)
  3. Team Gratitude Statements
    Most teams say ‘thank you’ daily to each other. But how often are we thinking about the ‘why’ behind gratitude? Maybe one of your colleagues can read your mind and complete tasks at lightning speed, or perhaps a few team mates are able to confide in each other for help and advice. These actions are perfect reasons to show gratitude with team gratitude statements. If you’re a leader, ask your team to write down what they are thankful for, for each member of the team. When they’re done, have them send it back to you so you can sort them and give them out to each person. HINT: It’s extra fun if you keep it anonymous.
  4. Pay it Forward
    When your employees feel like they are appreciated by the business, they are more likely to work harder, be loyal, and stay engaged. An excellent way to extend this engagement and gratitude is by paying it forward. One way an organization can do this is by offering extended lunches every so often to promote employees giving back to the community they live in. Encourage them to visit animal shelters and walk dogs or pet cats, or even something as simple as taking an extra hour to clear out their closet and donate the clothes.
  5. Gratitude Prompts
    Some writers get their thoughts flowing with a writing prompt. Since 2020 has been a particularly hard year on many employees, getting into a rut has become more common. An excellent way to combat that is a weekly gratitude prompt. Relating back to having a communication app, if your team has their own channel, post a gratitude prompt every week and ask everyone to spend up to 10 minutes answering it. Follow through with a team huddle to share what they are grateful for (if they’re comfortable).

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