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Start Gratitude Early!

Establishing gratitude as an essential part of company culture through gratitude activities during new employee orientation.

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As a young employee starting work at a large organization, like most other workplaces, I went through an orientation program that told me about the company culture and resources available to me. A lot of what I picked up during this program helped shape the way I approached my job and relationships with people.

Is there a way we could introduce a culture of gratitude early in an employee's life journey?

Here's what this could look like.

At the new employee orientation session, each employee could be asked to write down 5 things that they are grateful for, using an audience interaction app like When each item is posted by an employee, the entire class would be able to view the things that everyone is grateful for, and connect with each other over common themes.

To take this idea one step further, facilitators could inform employees about some of the gratitude practices within the organization, and invite individuals who have championed these practices as gratitude champions within the company as a way to celebrate their efforts and inspire new members of the organization.

As employees continue on their journey within the organization, their "gratitude index" could be tracked using their participation in already established gratitude practices. Moreover, employees in larger organizations who participate in rotational program as part of a cohort could benefit from using gratitude as a means of bringing their class or cohort together, and in turn increase awareness about gratitude as they rotate through different spaces within an organization.

To take this one more step further, could "gratitude" be established as a pillar that the corporation stands upon? Could managers use the "gratitude index" mentioned above as a metric of performance?

Idea Title

The Pillar of Gratitude

How the Idea will inspire the experience and expression of gratitude within an organization.

By inspiring an expression of gratitude early in an employee's career, this idea hopes to introduce gratitude as part of the first impression that a new employee gets about the company. It also hopes to celebrate gratitude initiatives led by employees within the company, while inspiring others to do the same.

Who are you innovating for?

New employees within any sized organization. This idea could also benefit employees who go through rotational programs as part of a class or cohort to bring its members closer together and establish gratitude practices within more controlled settings.

What type of workplaces are you innovating for?

Any sized organization could benefit from this, however earlier prototypes may need to be implemented within smaller organizations or groups.

How you envision the Idea being introduced to your selected organization?

Working for a large organization with over 80,000 employees, I envision starting off with smaller employee orientation programs that take place in the form of one on ones with managers or through smaller group sessions, or through orientation sessions for cohorts that participate in rotational programs, typically comprising of students fresh out of college.

What obstacles, if any, do you foresee in implementing this Idea, and how would they be overcome?

I foresee obstacles in sustaining the gratitude practices introduced within the company. This could be overcome by: 1. Gratitude training by gratitude champions, so that if they were to leave the company, the practices could be championed by another employee. 2. Establishing robust gratitude metrics within performance measures already in place.

How will you test and prototype your solution?

A good first step would be to prototype and conduct gratitude activities with small focus groups, comprising of new employees, to gain their feedback. A good next step could be to prototype the same activities with older employees, to gain insights about differences in the way they think about gratitude.

What immediate next steps will you take if you receive an implementation grant.

Develop partnerships with research organizations who could offer insights into how new employees think and behave, so as to design activities that will offer a meaningful experience. Additionally, working with mentoring organizations to help incorporate gratitude metrics within already established performance measures would be beneficial.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Research & Early Testing: You are exploring an idea, gathering inspiration and information needed to test it with real users.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

Individual idea.

Tell us about yourself

A Design Engineer by profession, I use design thinking methods and innovation tools to design products for the automotive industry, and help train and recruit professionals to do the same. I also help lead the OpenIDEO Detroit Chapter.

Where are you / your team located?

Auburn Hills, MI


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