Meaning Not Just Manners

By Shannon Lee

I see it all the time: leaders implement acts of gratitude or appreciation towards their associates in the form of recognition lunches, rewards programs and discount clubs. There’s nothing wrong with broad, organization-wide programs like these. However, I don’t believe they fit the definitions of gratitude previously provided. Definitions such as, showing deep appreciation and returning kindness.

My concern is these programs become a cookie-cutter one-size-fits-all act of appreciation. They do not require the leadership to actually engage in gratitude. So instead of being special, or tailored to wants and needs, these “gifts” are related to getting the most bang for the organizational buck, a shot across the bow. The motivation is not gratitude, the motivation is more along the lines of manners.

Listen, I’m a fan of manners. It’s nice and proper to thank people. Let’s not stop doing this. But I think we can do better. I think we can do more.

We can establish a culture of gratitude by:

· Showing gratitude in ways that are meaningful to the other person

· Getting specific about what we are grateful for and expressing it verbally

· Connecting what we are grateful for, to why we are grateful for it

Who can you show this kind of gratitude to at work this week?

Happy Thanksgiving from the Relā Team!

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