10 Ways to Create a Culture of Thankfulness


If you’ve ever worked for (or even walked into) a company that weaves gratitude into its culture, you’ve certainly felt, heard, or observed a difference.

Their employees have extra pep in their steps, smiling faces, and maybe even some high-fives going around. This atmosphere in the workplace doesn’t just happen, but it isn’t as hard to create as you may think.

It starts with you and your intentions.

You may be thinking, “Well, I am not in a leadership position. What impact can I have?” Creating something always begins within you. It does not matter what your job title is. To produce change, we must first initiate it. If you are in a leadership position, listen up:

Whether you acknowledge it or not, everyone around you is watching!

During every point of interaction—meetings, one-on-one conversations, emails—you have an opportunity to be the change you want to see. It may be brief, but the impact can last a long time.

Now that we know that gratitude is the best attitude, let’s look at how you can create it:

1. Share success stories and celebrate wins!
If you look for things people are doing right, I can guarantee you will find them.

2. Smile.
It’s as simple as that. If you aren’t used to smiling a lot, it may feel awkward at first. But, trust me—it becomes more natural, especially when someone smiles back at you.

3. Remember the names of people, and use them.
Don’t make it awkward, just something casual, like “Hey, Ashley! How was your weekend?”

4. Genuinely ask if you can help.
People will subconsciously remember that small act, and hopefully offer to help someone else—which will ultimately make the entire company more supportive of one and other.

5. Give thank-you or Thanksgiving cards.
Perhaps instead of holiday cards, send notes to colleagues in other departments who have helped you. (How thoughtful!)

6. Take opportunities to express gratitude.
Company-wide events, team meetings, and group emails are perfect places for thankfulness. Put the spotlight on someone who deserves it.

7. Remember that thankfulness is for everyone.
Show gratitude to everyone you work with, including vendors and clients. This can be contagious, and they will remember that you were a joy to work with. They may even walk away from your interaction feeling validated and better about themselves.

8. Choose your words carefully.
Speak to others with kindness, compassion, and understanding. It can make all the difference.

9. Be thankful for who you are and what you offer.
Recognizing your self-worth makes it easier to be grateful for everyone who crosses your path, and easier to show it.

10. Help others see their own unique talents.
Value and support your co-workers. Encourage them to let their lights shine in the workplace—and the world! This is the ultimate goal in creating a culture of thankfulness.

Here is a 40-day appreciation challenge called “The Gratitude Graffiti Project.” Check it out!