Workplace gratitude benefits are universal, but there are many different ways to build it! The good news for workplace leaders is that there’s no formula or “one-size-fits-all” approach. Building a culture of appreciation is unique to your company culture.
However, this can also intimidate a company that’s just getting started! Where do you even start? General goals may be clear, but the plan for getting there is uncharted territory.
That’s why hearing real life examples of workplace gratitude helps you understand what might work in your workplace. Engaging employees is a creative endeavor, and we’re all inspired by stories about how companies big and small spread a culture of gratitude among employees.
As you settle back in after the Labor Day holiday — and perhaps dig into your 2016 engagement planning! — take a few minutes today to read about workplace gratitude in action.
The three companies we’re profiling today vary in size, industry and culture. The one thing they have in common? Great workplace gratitude.
Companies That Do Workplace Gratitude Right
1. Hausmann-Johnson Insurance: Friendly, Familial Culture
From the start, this Madison, Wis.-based insurance company makes sure employees feel welcome and valued — strong relationships drive the company’s business!
“We don’t do stress interviews, and we won’t ask you how many pizzas it would take to fill a line from California to New York,” the company tells Great Places to Work. Instead, “we strive to create a comfortable application experience so the candidate can get a feel for the friendly and supportive work environment at HJI.”
HJI was recently recognized by Fortune and Great Place to Work® as one of the 10 Best Workplaces in Insurance in the nation.
HJI’s strong culture of workplace gratitude is built on strong communication, development opportunities and a focus on helping others.
- Communication: Employees frequently interact with company leadership through bi-weekly meetings, birthday group lunches, one-on-one executive lunches and other events.
- Development: Employees are empowered to drive their own career with written career paths, nearly 50 hours of annual training and other learning opportunities.
- Volunteerism: Employees get eight hours per year in paid volunteer time. The company also hosts an annual Make a Wish Foundation fundraiser and sponsors community run/walks.
“We at HJI attribute our high rank to the familial culture, rewarding learning environment, and strong company values,” the company tells Great Places to Work.
2. Oil-Dri Corp. of America: Notes of Gratitude
A Chicago Tribune profile of Oil-Dri describes several specific examples of how the industrial products company fosters employee satisfaction, from a focus on well-being to great benefits and top-notch executive communication.
But one example really stands out as a builder of workplace gratitude culture.
Before a bonus luncheon each fall, Oil-Dri managers write a paragraph about teammates’ contributions that year. The write-ups are then read aloud at the luncheon.
Corporate receptionist Virginia Viert tells the Tribune how stunned she was to see CEO Daniel Jaffee reading each write-up aloud. “That wowed me,” she said, “that the CEO would take the time to do that. That it wasn’t just like, ‘Here’s your check, eat your dinner and go.’ I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Thank-you notes — read aloud, mailed or shared in-person — are a powerful way to convey meaningful gratitude! For tips on how to compose your thank-you note, read our post “The Comeback of the Employee Thank You Letter.”
3. Olive Garden: Leading (and Giving) by Example
Every Labor Day, the restaurant chain serves up its popular Italian fare to first responders across the country. The tradition goes back 14 years and is celebrated at more than 800 Olive Garden locations nationwide.
An Olive Garden in Lakeland, Fla., delivered free meals to the local police department and all seven of the town’s fire departments. The Lakeland Ledger reports:
Paul Bates, an Olive Garden employee, was greeted with warmth and smiles as he delivered a holiday meal to the firefighters at station no. 1 Monday afternoon.
“Only the best for you guys,” Bates told LFD Lt. Jason Busby. “We appreciate everything you do.”
A Lakeland police sergeant told the Ledger that it was, “encouraging to see that a large, national company was taking the time to recognize first responders.”
Once sparked, gratitude spreads quickly. That’s why company-sponsored volunteerism like this is a powerful way to build a culture of workplace gratitude. There’s a snowball effect at work here, too — acts of gratitude reflect well on the company as a whole and instill a sense of pride in employees.
Looking for more creative workplace gratitude inspiration? Read our previous posts on gratitude case studies, and for an in-depth guide to Transforming Your Workplace with Gratitude, click below to download our FREE eBook and start today!
About gThankYou, LLC
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