How thankful is your workplace? With the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend approaching, it’s the perfect time to contemplate how we can encourage an “attitude of gratitude” in our organizations.
There’s typically a big push on “giving back” and a focus on paying it forward around the winter holiday season, but the holidays aren’t necessarily the easiest time to get employees on board with charitable initiatives. There just aren’t enough hours in the day at that time of year, and most employees feel tapped out from long days of shopping, endless family dinners, and late nights of celebrating. So consider switching it up by nurturing some of that holiday spirit around Thanksgiving. You might just find your team is much more inclined to enthusiastically participate.
Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be just about the turkey (or Tofurkey)! It’s also a great opportunity to emphasize appreciation, give back, and create community.
Here’s a list of our favourite simple ways to cultivate gratitude in your workplace, any time of year:
1. Organize a food bank drive. Set up a box in a communal space and get employees to bring in non-perishable donations for the local food bank.
2. Sponsor a youth sports team. As an organization, support young athletes in your community by sponsoring a youth sports team. This can be a great company team-builder too—get team jerseys with your company logo made, and show up en masse at a game to cheer on “your” team!
3. Sign up for a charity run/walk together. Give employees an incentive to get moving! Collect pledges, give employees time off to exercise together, and cheer each other on at the finish line.
4. Host “Muffin Mondays”. Rotate responsibility for baking (or buying) a double batch of healthy treats to share on Monday mornings. Drop off the extras at a nearby soup kitchen or shelter before lunch.
5. Paws for thanks. Show some love for our four-legged friends. Donate your time together by volunteering at a local animal shelter.
6. Celebrate together. There’s always something to celebrate! Take time out of a busy day to reflect on the small wins, notice milestones, and to recognize and celebrate achievements. Bring in treats, send a congratulatory email, or go for an impromptu team coffee outing to mark accomplishments.
7. Take up a collection. Choose a cause your team is passionate about, and put a collection jar in the reception area, then send out an email asking employees to offload their spare change!
8. Show appreciation! Get to know how your coworkers like to be appreciated, and make showing your appreciation a habit. Recognize the invisible work, and thank the people who don’t often receive thanks.
Your Engaged HR Assignment:
What are you grateful for? Take time to reflect, spread the appreciation and create community as a team! Vote on three strategies for the list above and commit to implementing them during the month of October!