Gratitude exercises for groups

Gratitude activities for adults can play a crucial role in building a kinder and more purposeful workplace culture. Tangible expressions of gratitude are proven to enhance engagement, reduce turnover, and boost overall morale. One practical way to foster a culture of gratitude is by incorporating gratitude exercises for groups. Here are 8 exercises that you can (and should) try.

Take a Moment of Gratitude

Incorporate a gratitude break into your meetings. Dedicate a few minutes for team members to express their appreciation. It can be as simple as acknowledging Jeff for making everyone coffee; or thanking Jessie for helping with presentation organization. Avoid focusing solely on material things, and instead recognize the efforts and support provided by colleagues.

Share the Joy of Giving

The act of giving is a gift in itself. Encourage the practice of sharing gifts among employees. Provide small gift certificates that they can give to customers as tokens of appreciation or to recognize their peers’ outstanding contributions. Shift supervisors and team leaders will also benefit from having readily available gifts to express recognition on the spot.

Create a Thankful Tree

During Thanksgiving and the holiday season, introduce a gratitude activity by setting up a tree in a common area. Place colorful paper cut-outs and writing utensils nearby. Encourage team members to write down expressions of gratitude and hang them as ornaments on the tree. This visually appealing display will serve as a daily reminder of appreciation throughout the season.

Gratitude exercise ideas

Experience the Appreciation “Hot Seat”

Make use of events such as annual retreats or employee orientations to implement gratitude games for work, like the appreciation “hot seat” game.

In this activity, each team member takes a turn sitting in the “hot seat” while others express their appreciation, highlighting their work contributions and recent acts of kindness. This gratitude group exercise strengthens the bonds within the team.


Engage in a Gratitude Challenge

A gratitude challenge—one of the most effective gratitude games for adults—can be done by organizing your own program or joining a community-wide initiative. OpenIDEO, an open innovation platform, hosts a challenge centered around inspiring gratitude experiences in the workplace. Explore the OpenIDEO website to discover how your organization can participate and embark on various research missions. Embrace this opportunity to have fun and encourage gratitude among your team.

Embrace Little Thank You Notes

Download Your Free Guide to "Writing Thank You Notes That Employees Will Treasure"The power of gratitude lies in its simplicity. Engage in the practice of writing brief thank you notes consisting of two or three sentences. This gratitude group activity can be done at any time of year and serves as a thoughtful gesture for leaders to express appreciation to team members.

Team Volunteering

Promote team bonding and gratitude by engaging in community volunteer activities. Choose projects that require teamwork and collaboration, such as a park cleanup. This shared experience not only gives back to the community but also nurtures gratitude among team members. Working together towards a common goal strengthens the sense of unity and appreciation.

Celebrate World Gratitude Day

Mark September 21 as World Gratitude Day and celebrate it with your team. Host an event with treats and place the focus on appreciating employees. Encourage the CEO or other executives to write a heartfelt “World Gratitude Day” thank you message that the entire staff can read.

Remember, this list of gratitude exercises for groups is just the beginning. Feel free to modify or create your own ideas with the ultimate goal of fostering a happier and more appreciative culture. Enjoy the process and have fun along the way!

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