In my opinion, for gratitude in the workplace to really be expressed and received, it needs to be a combination of things and the sum of the parts rather than one grand act of gratitude. I think a gratitude box in combination with a weekly lunch would establish a healthy and happy work environment in which the employees and employers feel gratitude, respect, and appreciation. To break down the idea, there would be a "gratitude box" or a few in the office (depending on the office size), and each time an employee felt appreciated by someone or felt that someone else warranted appreciation, they would write a little one-sentence note in the box. People would be encouraged to write in the box and put notes for a few reasons
1. These notes would be read aloud at the end of each week, in front of the entire office, and therefore others would see your appreciation or whatever warranted gratitude that you did.
2. If there were multiple gratitude boxes, the box with the most notes at the end of the week would be able to pick what their weekly lunch was or where they ate, and get to read their notes first. If there was only one box, the managers of the office would hold off the free team lunch until a certain number of notes were in the box.
Furthermore, as I briefly mentioned above, the office would hold a weekly lunch in which everyone would get together on a more informal/personal level and eat lunch together, simply as colleagues. This would create a friendly environment in which the employees can connect and show gratitude and respect on another level. It would also show the employers that the priority is not always task completion, and that focusing on the culture, the people, and the relationships within the company are just as important. At some point during this lunch each week, people would take turns reading all of the notes in the gratitude box/boxes. Everyone would be recognized for their efforts and appreciation, and it would stimulate a positive energy. The office would also supply or pay for lunch, and so this is another level of appreciation to be shown to the employees.