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Gratitude Boards

Every employee in the company will have a board at their desk where coworkers can express thanks, congratulate, or uplift each other.

Photo of Emily Cox
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Each employee will be supplied with a corkboard, index cards, and push pins which they may use to post gratitude notes for their coworkers. These notes can range anywhere from a simple thank you for a task to a congratulations on a big life event. The goal of this idea is to create opportunities for employees to publicly express gratitude toward each other. This also allows for an individual's hard work to be recognized by others who make not even know about it. Gratitude boards will provide more exposure for individual tasks. This idea also facilitates more meaningful acts of gratitude. Expressing gratitude vocally doesn't always have a lasting impact, but this idea creates something tangible that continues to make an impact.

Idea Title

Gratitude Boards

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

The idea behind these boards is to have a place for gratitude to be publicized. Expressions of gratitude make a stronger impact on the one receiving it if it occurs in a public setting. Not only does this idea promote a method for making a stronger impact, but also for making a long-lasting impact. Employees will collect gratitude notes as time passes and at any moment they can read them for a source of inspiration.

Who are you innovating for?

This idea is intended to be beneficial for all employees across all departments and levels of a company.

What type of workplaces are you innovating for?

This idea will most likely work best for a smaller workplace that has a more open setting. This way there will be more involvement across departments and levels and there will be more visibility.

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

I think that this idea would be the responsibility of HR to implement. They would help to get the boards installed at every desk and provide

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

I think that this idea could potentially be one that starts out strong but then dies down over time. This issue can be partially avoided because older gratitude notes will still be posted and can still serve as inspiration. Although, as less new notes are written, it might be useful to create an incentive for writing notes.

How will you test and prototype your solution?

This idea could be tested with individual boards for each person or one master board in a central location to see which method is more effective. The company could also create initiatives to encourage and remind employees to be writing gratitude notes. Maybe every Friday could be a designated day for everyone to write gratitude notes that reflect on the past week.

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

If I was to receive a grant to further this idea, I would work on creating a presentation discussing gratitude in the workplace and how it impacts a company. This could be presented to different companies to increase exposure of the issue and to get more companies interested in implementing the whole idea. I think the idea of gratitude boards would be more effective if a company was given a presentation on the psychology behind gratitude in the workplace and how important it is to the company.

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

This idea came from a group brainstorm in the classroom that began with placing whiteboards at every employee's desk.

Tell us about yourself

My name is Emily Cox. I am a senior at The University of Texas at Austin studying Management Information Systems.

Where are you / your team located?

Austin, TX

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Lauren Ito

Hi Emily Cox 

Great to see you in the Ideas Phase of the Challenge! I'm curious about what would incentivize people to participate in this initiative--and on an ongoing basis?

IDEO recently published a blog about culture and ritual. You may find some of the content helpful in informing your post!

The The Power and Resilience of Community may be helpful for you to reference in developing this idea!

Excited to learn more!