When we create workplaces that put gratitude at the forefront, we’re doing much more than cultivating a feel-good environment. In fact, research from Accenture shows that three key factors shape a culture of true belonging at work: feeling seen, feeling safe, and feeling connected. And by leading with gratitude, we invite people to find that sense of belonging and bring their whole selves to work.
By taking small steps, we can create a culture of gratitude and compassion at work. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Start with an Entry Interview
Almost all companies do an exit interview when an employee leaves, asking about the employee’s experience, what worked, and what didn’t work. But introducing an Entry Interview as part of your company onboarding, or anytime someone switches teams or departments, is a great way to set the tone for gratitude and effective communication starting on day one.
While the Entry Interview is designed with new hires in mind, you can also use it as a check-in during mid-year reviews or team transitions to keep your employee’s mental health top of mind. To learn more about the Entry Interview, watch this short video from our Thriving Onboarding curriculum, all about instilling a culture of well-being and connection from day one.
Ask questions that make team members feel seen
When we feel seen, we feel understood, cared for, and appreciated for who we are. We make others feel seen when we pay attention, when we listen with empathy and without judgment, and when we seek to understand the whole person for the uniqueness of who they are, not just what they do. To help team members feel seen, try swapping your usual “How are you?” for a deeper question. Questions like “What challenges are you facing now?” can give you the chance to learn about their experiences and make them feel seen and appreciated.
Foster an environment of connection and compassion
We feel connected when we can open up to others in honest ways and form deeper, more trusting relationships. When we understand, accept, and value ourselves for who we are — imperfections and all — we open the door to more authentic connections with others, with benefits that go both ways. To better connect with teammates, try inviting a team member you don’t often connect with out to lunch or coffee, or share something that made you laugh with your team. Spreading humor and joy is a great way to stay connected and open the door to more compassion and resilience.
“Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life.”