When I was working in an overseas ministry, I wanted to grow in my friendship with my co-workers, both my peers and my leadership. To do this, I opened Evernote and started a note with everyone’s name on it. Then below each name I put bullet points with traits about them that I either was thankful for or admired about them. From then on, whenever I got the chance, I would try to compliment them or thank them.
The result, however, wasn’t what I expected. I thought I would be changing their lives, but it was really me that was changing. I really became more thankful for them, and enjoyed telling them so. Hopefully, this also made me a better person to work with and be around.
What is thankfulness and how do I instill it in others?
I would describe being thankful is showing appreciation, either personally or publicly, for something done or something you have.
Wrong. They don’t have to work for you. Oh sure, there will be setbacks for them if they leave their job, but odds are they’ll be able to find another one. Maybe even a better one. Then you’re stuck with filling a position and training someone entirely new. But expressing thanks to your employees and volunteers helps build confidence and retain staff. Doesn’t it make sense that people will want to stay and work hard for someone that appreciates them.
How to do it.
- Show it to your team. Express your thanks to everyone when you accomplish company goals.
- Show it to individuals. If you can publicly thank someone in front of the rest of the staff, do so. Just as wrongs must be publicly addressed, so should people who do their job well.
- Take up a special challenge. One of my college teachers gave an assignment for the entire class to write an encouraging note to three people before the next day. Everyone was amazed at how fun it was to send encouragement to another. That’s part of being thankful. Find creative ways to promote thankfulness amongst your staff.